BrewDog’s launch of Pink IPA to raise awareness about inequality splits opinions

Ahead of International Women’s Day, the craft-beer brewer has announced a pink-labelled version of its iconic Punk IPA. However, not everyone is happy about the campaign

BrewDog's launch of Pink IPA to raise awareness about inequality splits opinions

BrewDog, the craft-beer brewery and bar operator, isn’t afraid of taking a stand against inequality. Now the company has used its provocative wit to raise awareness about the gender pay gap by poking fun of lazy marketing towards women and releasing a pink-labelled beer for women. But everyone isn’t super-thrilled about the concept.

Having timed its new tongue-in-cheek campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March, BrewDog announced the new Pink IPA with the sarcastic tweet: “We’ve created a beer for girls. And it’s pink. Because women only like pink and glitter, right?”

The company is making no secret that the new offering is just its classic Punk IPA with a pink label. For the next four weeks, self-identifying women will be able to buy the beer for 20% less than what men will. Moreover, a fifth of the proceeds from the beer and sales of Punk IPA will be donated to causes fighting gender inequality.

However, BrewDog did face somewhat of a backlash in the Twitterverse. While many applauded the sentiment of the campaign, some accused the business of falling into the same trap of lazy stereotypical marketing the campaign spoke out against. For instance, Georgina Breeze, a digital executive at GML Consulting, tweeted: “Not cool BrewDog not cool. Whilst the idea is great, sadly the execution is a big miss.”

This is not the first time BrewDog has used its platform to protest injustice. The iconoclastic brand has previously protested against Russian anti-LGBT laws by releasing a limited edition beer called Hello, My Name Is Vladimir, which came complete with dragged-up Andy Warhol-esque portraits of Putin. At the time they jokingly said it was “a beer for uber-hetero men who ride horses while topless and carrying knives.”

Commenting on the Pink IPA campaign, James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, said: “Anything that promotes division, exclusion or elitism is antithetical to what we stand for at BrewDog and what we believe beer should be about. We exist to break down walls – physical and invisible – that prevent people from following their passions and enjoying the awesomeness of beer.”

BrewDog isn’t the only company to take a stand for something it believes in. For instance, earlier this week Bumble, the dating app, announced it would remove profile pictures with guns in them following the Parkland shooting. Moreover, tech leaders openly protested Donald Trump’s failure to denounce the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville. It’s encouraging to see businesses and their leaders use their platforms to promote social change.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

Share via
Copy link