I’m not usually prone to producing op-ed pieces, but upon initially reading the title of this article, my knee-jerk reaction was “good, a macro beer producer is taking flak for false advertising.” I’ve always been of the idea that you should live your life via a moral and ethical standard (mine stemming from my faith as a Christian). Therefore, tell the truth. Deception gets complicated and messy. I also believe consumers have the right to know the truth, or at least access to it. Maybe the majority of Americans want to be spoon-fed, not me. I don’t mind doing a little digging.
That said, someone trying to take MillerCoors to court because they felt mislead about the production of their calorie-friendly lager needs to grow up. We live in the most sue-friendly society to date, and I find it low-brow to try and receive remuneration in this fashion (isn’t that usually the case?). I also believe that any judge giving serious thought to hearing this case is a few cans short of a six pack. In the age of voice-activated Siri searches on smartphones and “google” being an accepted verb in common vernacular, information is at one’s fingertips. If someone has ever wondered where their favorite products come from, all one has to do is search. People, the Guinness we’ll drink in a few weeks doesn’t even come from Ireland! It’s from Canada. That search took me roughly 3 seconds.
I’m curious about the motivations of the lawyer taking this case—and offhandedly—whether they drink MillerCoors products (or if they even drink beer… or humorously enough… craft beer). Are they just trying to make a point about company practices and misleading ads, or rather trying to brew up some publicity for the firm?
I blame each party for a different reason.
Some might raise the point that it’s time consuming and very difficult to be aware of the nature of all our favorite products. Yes, I agree with you. But, it would make me pause when seeing a sale sign for a 24-pack of Coors Lite for ~$15 in a Florida Walmart if that beer is really, exclusively produced in Golden.
And besides, that’s ~63 cents a can, whereas craft six packs are anywhere from ~$1.50-$2.00 a can/bottle, and often, much more. And guess what, we pay it (more often than not) and know where it comes from, who owns it, and whether or not they’ve been bought out by AB Inbev, SABMiller, remain independent, or have joined forces with another craft brewery. Some continue to drink it when they learn the truth, others like me, do not.
It’s your decision, but if you feel the need to know where your cherished brands come from, don’t be surprised when you learn the truth.
The silver lining to all this? Companies might take a proactive approach to being honest with their customer base, in the hopes that the disclosure and transparency will garner the respect of consumers.