Lion’s has stirred up a tornado of controversy with their new campaign Beer the Beautiful Truth. For those who enjoy a politically motivated showdown, there couldn’t be better entertainment. Australia’s aggressive Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education(FARE) has gotten into full blown name calling match with Lion. As the debate continues between the two it is doing nothing but highlighting the vetted interests at play.
While Lion obviously has a huge amount to gain by portraying alcohol as being healthy FARE is using the campaign as an excuse to use Australian tax dollars to publicly challenge Lion. As the fight rages on we are left to wonder if this sensational development is going to affect the way Australians drink.
Lion Reaches New Level of Infamy with New Campaign
Lion has become public enemy number one for FARE, & this controversy couldn’t have come at a better time for Australia’s flailing beer industry. Faced with the shocking progression of beer sales slumping across Australia breweries are getting creative. Lion realized that the only way to start reviving the industry is through a marketing revolution. Beer the Beautiful Truth was the perfect Trojan horse that’s getting Lion out of the shadows & back into the spotlight. The campaign highlights the health benefits of drinking their products while simultaneously squashing misconceptions about beer. While celebrating putting ingredient labels on bottles seems like an innocent way of educating the public, it’s actually a brilliant marketing scheme.
FARE played right into Lion’s hands when they took the bait & started a public standoff about the new campaign. When Beer the Beautiful Truth went public FARE lashed out, saying that Lion was making “alcohol products seem healthier than they are”.
This set the stage for Lion to point out that FARE was using tax dollars collected from beer lovers to harass a legitimate company. The managing director of Lion James Brindley held nothing back when he issued a public statement defending the campaign:
“Contrary to what FARE asserts, this is not a health campaign,” Brindley said.“Beer the Beautiful Truth simply provides the facts people want to know about beer and busts common myths. For example, most people think beer is loaded with sugar when, in fact, our beers are typically 99.9 per cent sugar free.
Our research shows that people want the facts about what they’re drinking and that’s what we’re providing, via a full nutritional information panel on the bottle, the outer packaging and via a dedicated website. It is highly ironic that FARE was established by Federal Parliament using extra tax collected from beer drinkers for a hike in the draft beer excise rate that never got parliamentary approval.
I think beer lovers everywhere will be disappointed, once again, to see their money wasted on frivolous publicity stunts, instead of those funds being used to continue reducing harms caused by misuse.”
The two can argue all day about Beer the Beautiful Truth, but one thing remains clear: Lion has taken marketing to a whole new level. In the end Lion will look like the good guy for being transparent about their products & calling out a politically charged attack. This campaign has generated national attention for Lion’s products & the added controversy is exactly what they needed to reach this level. Hopefully other breweries follow Lion’s lead and start using innovative marketing tactics to stimulate sales.
It’s no secret that the key to customers’ hearts & wallets is marketing. After all, everyone loves a good show.