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BrewDog faces new backlash over promoting beers in Qatar regardless of ‘anti-World Cup’ marketing campaign

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Insurgent beer model BrewDog discovered itself dealing with a recent barrage of hypocrisy claims as its marketing campaign in opposition to soccer World Cup hosts Qatar continued to backfire.

A broadly circulated picture on social media revealed that the brewery continues to be promoting its beers in Qatar, regardless of its grandstand in opposition to the Arab nation.

A spokesperson for the agency confirmed to Fortune on Wednesday that BrewDog beers had been being offered in Qatar, however stated the corporate didn’t promote immediately into the Qatari market.

“We do have a relationship with a distributor that sells into a number of Center Jap markets, primarily into Dubai however together with Qatar,” they stated.

Beer model kicks off in opposition to Qatar

On Monday, the self-styled ‘punk’ brewery from Scotland launched its ‘anti-World Cup’ marketing campaign with a slew of posters highlighting Qatar’s problematic human rights document, stance on homosexuality and corruption allegations.

BrewDog additionally promised to donate the income from one in all its beers, Misplaced Lager, to human rights organizations in the course of the match.

Nevertheless, the corporate’s CEO James Watt was shortly accused of hypocrisy as he was beforehand the topic of an open letter from current and former workers in June 2021 detailing a ‘tradition of worry‘ inside BrewDog, with staff demanding an apology for ‘harassing, assaulting, belittling, insulting and gaslighting.’

BrewDog has since apologized and claims “we’re a special enterprise at the moment and completely centered on changing into the most effective employer in our sector.”

The choice to display World Cup matches at its chain of bars internationally was additionally criticized, though BrewDog argued the transfer would result in elevated gross sales of Misplaced Lager, due to this fact, offering more cash for charity.

Nevertheless, whole gross sales of its extra widespread choices would additionally doubtless enhance, that means a better revenue for the brewery throughout the board, and BrewDog confirmed to Fortune that Misplaced Lager was solely its third-highest vendor.

New controversy and finger-pointing

On Wednesday, the corporate lashed out on the marketing campaign’s critics when photographs of BrewDog beers being offered in Qatar started to floor throughout social media.

In a press release to Fortune, the Scottish model drew comparisons with tech giants Apple for its place on gross sales in Qatar.

“Apple sells iPhones in Qatar—that doesn’t imply it endorses human rights abuses,’ a spokesperson stated.

“Neither will we. We’re doing our bit to lift consciousness of those scandals and injustices and can maintain doing so.”

Apple has made no public stand in opposition to Qatar or the World Cup, nor has it launched any marketing campaign that’s more likely to enhance its income.

The beer model then went on to level the finger at different main firms, who it felt had been extra deserving of criticism.

In a separate assertion to British commerce publication Simply Drinks, BrewDog stated: “If individuals need to assault manufacturers, perhaps they’d be higher off turning their consideration to the likes of Adidas, Kia and Visa who’re all official companions of [international soccer governing body] FIFA.”

Representatives for Adidas, Kia and Visa weren’t instantly accessible for remark when contacted by Fortune.

BrewDog — which scaled quickly due to crowdfunding — isn’t alone in its criticism of the occasion, with protests against the Qatar World Cup gaining traction, however many have taken to social media to slam what many are calling a large PR personal aim.

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