By Denis Sheehan MIH, Publisher, H&C News: The perplexing stance of BrewDog and Qatar.
BrewDog has always courted publicity even at the cost of notoriety, their most recent stunt is no different.
The brewer issued a tweet earlier this week proclaiming themselves the ‘anti–sponsor’ of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The wording in the tweet aims to set BrewDog as taking the moral high ground in calling out wrongdoings in Qatar.
The tweet was backed up with a billboard campaign which immediately set in motion a social media backlash where many questioned the motives. The questioning on social media is largely around how BrewDog balance, the vilification of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, and making money by showing the games live to pack punters into their bars.
It was then revealed that the Qatar Distribution Company, the sole authority (monopoly) in Qatar for importing, distributing and retail selling alcohol and is a subsidiary of the Qatari government, is importing BrewDog beer for sale throughout the World Cup in Qatar.
The ongoing debates on social media around the campaign are now also opening old wounds including Punks with Purpose.
The moral gymnastics required to try and balance out some sort of reasoning to this campaign can only be matched by trying to work out what the marketing objective may be, perhaps a resurrection of Phineas T. Barnum’s view that all publicity is good publicity?