The on-going spat between the craft brewery ‘Brewdog’ and the Portman Group (named with no irony after the Guinness offices in Portman Square where it held its first meeting), has today taken another tantalising twist.
Responding to a comically dull press release from the Portman Group which once again accuses the brewery of breaking the advertising standards, Brewdog have released their own statement apologising to the Portman Group for ‘not giving a shit’.
In their comically curt response the brewery summarises their feeling to the Portman Group saying:
“Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages.”
“While the Portman Group lives out its days deliberating whether a joke on a bottle of beer is responsible or irresponsible use of humour, at BrewDog we will just get on with brewing awesome beer and treating our customers like adults.”
As if to illustrate a point the Portman Group’s Executive Director. Henry Ashworth, specifically addresses the issue of humour in the press release saying:
“The Code rules do not exist to prevent humorous or innovative brand marketing but to make sure that humour is used responsibly.”
Before following it up with possible the most humourless sentence ever constructed in the English language:
“We urge producers to exercise due diligence and consult our Code Advisory Team if they are in any doubt.”
This is the latest slightly comic spat between Brewdog and the Portman Group. In 2008 BrewDog called for The Portman Group to be scrapped (with some equally strong rhetoric) while the Portman Group has made repeated accusations against various Brewdog beers (The beer ‘Speedballs’ apparently mocked drug addiction – an accusation that led Brewdog to then initiate defamation action for, ‘Tokyo stout’ – then Britain’s strongest beer’ – encouraged binge drinking etc etc).
For the passive onlooker this is a spat that just keeps giving. Portman Group keep chipping away in mono-corporate talk that does nothing other than give Brewdog further publicity. Brewdog on the other hand keep chipping away with their wonderful diarrhoea of anti-corporate adjectives sounding increasingly like a half-pissed Noam Chomsky.
The contrast between the two is something this blogger plans to dwell on over a carefully selected independent craft beer.
*Hat tip to my my mate Russ for putting me onto this latest spat.