Moosehead pulls 'sexist' advertising

Controvery focuses new attention on New Brunswick brewery's Alpine beer

Sept 24, 2002 - Moosehead Breweries has agreed to withdraw controversial beer advertising after being told that pictures of buxom, bikini-clad women are too potent for New Brunswick's drinking public.


Joel Levesque, a spokesman for the New Brunswick-based beer company, said the brewery took the action after a meeting last week with officials of the province's liquor corporation about appropriate advertising. Barbara Winsor, head of the New Brunswick Liquor Corp., said they were too risque and banned them from corporation outlets.

Winsor told the Moncton Times and Transcript that although the women in the promotional brochures were beautiful, "their big boobies are hanging out." She said the ads were sexist, a view upheld by the province's Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

The controversy has sparked unusual interest the company's promotional campaign for its Alpine beer, available only in the Maritimes. Levesque said visits to the company's web site, where the brochure is shown, have doubled since the brouhaha blew up in the news media.

Alpine adThe brochure is still available in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, where liquor corporations have not objected to the scenes of scantily-clad women promoting Alpine beer along with prizes that can be won by collecting bottle caps. Moosehead agreed not to distribute about 100,000 brochures earmarked for New Brunswick.

"We wouldn't deny that the media coverage has focused attention on the brand and on the Cool Caps promotion, and it's attention you wouldn't normally receive," Levesque said. "But we're still stuck with the problem of how to distribute the brochures. I mean, we've got a lot left and we can't give them out in the stores."

Although the beach scenes were initially approved by the liquor corporation, Winsor said the woman who normally okays such material was away at the time. Winsor said the brochures were approved by a man, adding that she understands "men want to look at these things."

Levesque said Moosehead probably won't try bikinis and beaches again. "We're quite clear now what they expect," he said. "We won't be producing a Cool Caps bikini promotion -- version two -- for next year."

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