BrewDog Declares Itself ‘Proud Anti-Sponsor’ of FIFA World Cup

BrewDog has declared itself “anti-proud sponsor” of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a series of billboards protesting the human rights record of host country Qatar.

The brewer has unveiled a splashy campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi London condemning what it says are the “corruption, abuse and death” associated with the tournament.

Describing the occasion as the “F* World Cup”, the push promotes BrewDog’s plan to donate all profits from its Last Lager during the event to human rights charities.

“Football should be for everyone,” BrewDog founder James Watt wrote on LinkedIn, but in Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, flogging is an accepted form of punishment and it’s fine for 6,500 workers to die building your stadiums. [its] Where is the money? [its] It is the mouth.

The business, which also operates more than 80 pubs across the UK, will broadcast matches to customers during the four weeks of the play-offs. The area has been marketed to its fans as “the perfect place to enjoy this year’s FIFA World Cup”. In response to questions about its plans to protest and screen the World Cup, BrewDog said it did not want to prevent fans from watching.

“Corruption should not stop this. “Plus, the more football we show, the more Lost is sold, the more money goes to charity.” said on Twitter.

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Saatchi & Saatchi London, BrewDog

The company has not confirmed the details of which nonprofit organization will receive the grant. However, it confirmed that it will only help registered charities that help people affected by injustices and human rights violations in Qatar.

The campaign comes as official sponsors face heat from consumers and activists for their support of the 2022 Games, which have been marred by controversy since Qatar won the 2010 host.

Issues related to Qatar’s hosting duties include allegations of corruption in bidding, allegations of bribery by the United States against FIFA officials, allegations of human rights abuses and exploitation in relation to (mainly) migrant workers in the construction of Qatar’s stadiums, questions from soccer players and fans in It is against you. -LGBTQ+ rules and questions about the safety of women traveling to Persian Gulf countries.

According to Amnesty International, expatriate workers make up 90 percent of Qatar’s workforce, with 1.7 million currently working. Official embassy data released in 2021 showed that 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died since winning the tender in 2010.

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Although some title advocates have joined a growing group of voices calling for reparations for the families of injured migrant workers, others have remained silent.

Divided opinions

The self-proclaimed “punk” Scottish brand has been the subject of controversy since its launch in 2008 due to its shock tactics and legal battles.

In 2013, Watt said he would rather “burn money” than spend it on traditional “shallow” advertising. However, the brand has typically flexed its marketing muscle through stunts promoted by top creatives—a combination that has made it a lightning rod for controversy.

Issues include bans from Britain’s advertising watchdog for explicit language and “misleading” advertising. In 2014, the beer “Not for Gays” – designed to draw attention to Russia’s anti-LGBT legislation in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics that year – was also co-branded with an Andy Warhol-style print of President Vladimir Putin. It showed that there was a difference of opinion.

Recently, BrewDog apologized after a string of allegations about its workplace culture.

In an open letter published on Twitter in June 2021, former workers claimed the company’s rapid growth had cut corners on health and safety, compromised its values ​​and created a “toxic” work environment.

British trade union Unite said the craft beer brand’s anti-Qatari campaign was “dishonest”.

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Brian Simpson, industry organizer for the group’s hospitality sector, told City AM: “The treatment of workers in Qatar is an international scandal, but BrewDog [has] The kind that says something about workers’ rights when hundreds of people [its] The workers themselves – past and present – signed an open letter outlining a “culture of fear” and demanding an apology from workers for “harassing, assaulting, humiliating, insulting or gassing them”.

He added: “This is a disingenuous advertising campaign designed to distract customers from the fact that BrewDog is one of the worst employers in the brewing industry when it comes to doing the right thing by workers.”

In response, BrewDog highlighted its investments in mental health, wellbeing and education, as well as other workplace benefits.

“Where we have fallen short in the past, we have apologized, and today we are a different business – fully focused on becoming the best employer in our sector,” a spokesperson added in a statement.

Another brand protesting the selection of Qatar as the host country is the sponsor of the Danish team and the Hummel sportswear brand, which “adjusted” the team’s uniform and showed less of its logo on the shirt.


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