Brewdog accused of mocking homeless and trans women
One of Brewdog’s latest ads has come under fire from a campaigning group that says it is mocking homeless people, trans women and sex workers.
The ad, which calls on viewers to invest in the brewery’s latest crowdfunding bond, has the strapline “don’t make us do this”.
The premise is that Brewdog’s founders would do anything to get people to invest in them – but then shows a series of things they don’t want to do, including standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign asking for cash for beer, and dancing in a shop window dressed up as female prostitutes.
James Watt, who co-founded the Scottish brewery, said: "The video was made in the spirit of fun and sending ourselves up – it's a shame that some people have taken offence when none was intended. We have a history of supporting and championing the LGBT community, and will continue doing so."
Care2, which calls itself “a community of 30 million standing together for good”, runs online petitions on anything from asking Barack Obama to increase US support for Syrian refugees to campaigning against badger culls.
Campaigner and petition author Beth Granter said: “The response from Brewdog is disappointing and misses the point. It shows that they are not listening to the voices of LGBTQ people and sex workers – many of whom have signed the petition against the video – and who do not feel that the video is ‘in the spirit of fun’.
“They are clearly mocking marginalised groups of people and that’s just bad business. By saying ‘don’t make us do this’, and ‘I’d need a bath afterwards’, Brewdog’s campaign is at the very least feeding into transphobic and anti-sex-worker attitudes.
“Intent is not the point. Plain and simple – Brewdog’s campaign is offensive and insulting to trans women and sex workers – and Brewdog needs to apologise and pull the video now.”
The petition has been signed by 8,307 supporters so far.
Brewdog is famous for its controversial beer names, incendiary comments and publicity stunts like dropping dead cats from a helicopter.
Founder James Watt has said he "would rather set my money on fire" than pay for conventional advertising.