Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Carib Brewery apologises after social media backlash

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Barbados Today:–  The Trinidad headquartered Carib Brewery, the producer of Carib Beer, today apologized for a cricket advertisement on its social media platforms which provoked a wave of backlash across the region.

The post, described by rights advocates as offensive, appeared to promote violence against “nagging” women whose spouses spend too much time watching the Caribbean Premier League cricket contest, currently
under way.

“If your wife or girlfriend is nagging you about spending more time watching Caribbean Premier League cricket (CPL) than with her, hit her for six!” the advertisement exclaimed.

After widespread condemnation from rights groups and individuals, Carib Brewery today said it was sorry.

“We at Carib Brewery would like to apologize for the recent posts on our social media platforms. We don’t condone, support or tolerate violence of any kind, including domestic violence in any form and sincerely regret this post. We will continue to work to ensure that our communications comply with the highest standards,” it said on social media.

However, the apology has failed to appease its critics, many of whom viewed it with suspicion.

One poster, simply stated on the company’s Instagram page, “hmmm”.

However, others were openly critical of the brewery, with some posters describing the advertisement as “distasteful”.

One poster wrote: “Whoever came up with the ad should be fired. It’s even worst it actually got approved and posted online. I mean, did they have to show it to a donkey and just get a blink of approval? Smh.”

Another stated: “It’s easy to say sorry after . . . an insincere apology so you ‘save a bit of face’. What you need to do is fire the person in marketing, commit funds to helping battered women and girls, and sponsor a bar and rum shop dialogue with men about the violence perpetrated against women.

Yet another posted: ‘Distasteful and this “apology” horrible.’

Women’s rights advocate Marsha Hinds was among those who had expressed outrage at the Carib Brewery post.

Today, she said the apology “means little and I am still imploring Barbadians to spend their hard-earned money reflectively and purposefully”.

Hinds, the public relations officer of the women’s advocacy group, the National Organization for Women, had told Barbados TODAY before the apology was issued that Barbadians should think twice before purchasing Carib Brewery products, arguing the advertisement promoted domestic violence.

“I just cannot believe that in 2018 a company can be so bold as to do that. It just floors you. It makes you feel that all your efforts are for nought. It is a blatant support for domestic violence and the perpetuation of stereotypes that we know have nothing to do with domestic violence but have been internalized as the cause for it,” the women’s right’s advocate said.

“This ad has nothing to do with cricket or beer. It essentially says using violence against a woman is a way to get her to shut up. Research also shows that men who abuse alcohol are more prone to commit acts of domestic violence. So if you are selling beer in 2018, your advertising agency and top management should
be sensitized enough to know what is right,” she

Hinds claimed the brewery had a history of promoting sexism on social media, citing as examples a social media post in which a man at a bar ditches his dark-skinned date for a lighter-skinned woman, “which is classism and racism in action, and another ad a year ago suggested that a young woman engage in transactional sex with an older man to get what she wanted”.

“The local agents believe that it is not their responsibility since the ad is coming from Trinidad. However, given my experience in the corporate world, I know that information must be vetted by an official before it is released on a company’s behalf,” she said.

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