What’s In A Name: A Controversial Brew
This critical incident describes an ethical dilemma faced by a co-owner of a craft brewery. Since the public debut of his beers, Chris Fast of Route 2 Brews continued to receive criticism of his beer names and labels. Psychotic Blonde, Horny Hefer, and Stacked were common media targets. However, Leg Spreader garnered the most disparagement with its label depicting “a large-chested woman sitting with the brewery’s logo between her spread legs.” Fast saw no harm in the names and labels and described them as fun. The Brewers Association, a nonprofit trade group which represents most of the breweries and beer distributors in the U.S., had recently addressed the growing concern of sexist names and labels. Students are asked to decide what course of action Chris Fast should take in response to the continued negative perception of Leg Spreader. Should he rename the beer and/or change the label?
In completing this assignment, students should be able to:
1. Analyze a situation in order to identify aspects of an ethical dilemma
2. Assess a consumer’s decision process involving a brand name and label
3. Evaluate the impact of a brand name on various stakeholders
4. Explain the concept of ethical branding and its relationship to a marketing decision
This critical incident is appropriate for use in undergraduate courses such as business ethics, principles of marketing, product and brand management, and marketing strategy.