'Laddish' marketing of beer alienates women

Brewers are failing to target women pub-goers

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CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale is condemning brewers' marketing departments for failing to make beer appeal to women, despite the fact that more women are using pubs. Beer is the only product that is still promoted almost exclusively to men.

Research reveals that 57% of women who have tried real ale think it is tastier than other beers and 62% think it is more natural. Of those who have not tried real ale, nearly one in five think it is not promoted to them and 18% think it is too old fashioned. A quarter of women haven't tried it because none of their friends drink it.

CAMRA argues that these reasons are related to poor marketing and image compared to other drinks like wine and spirit mixers. Very few women agreed with the myths about real ale. Only 4% of women thought real ale would be too warm, 6% too flat and 9% too fattening. This demonstrates that it is not doubts about the quality of the product that stops women trying it.

The research was revealed at the launch of the biggest generic promotion of British beer for fifty years. CAMRA is urging female pub-goers to 'Ask if it's Cask' next time they visit the pub, in an attempt to get them to discover the taste of real ale.

Mike Benner, Head of Campaigns and Communications said, "Back in the seventies it was normal to see adverts for cars, insurance and banking all aimed at the man of the house, but now these are equally made to appeal to women, take Nicole's Renault for example. Beer, on the other hand, is still treated by marketing people as the last male dominated product."

Sales of real ales peaked at 17.5% of the total beer market in 1994. They are now less than 10%. The 'Ask if it's Cask' campaign hopes to reverse this trend by urging people to try real ale and brewers to start marketing it.

Mike Benner added, "Our research suggests that women who try real ale are attracted by the qualities of the product, like its taste and naturalness. But of those who haven't tried it, it is the image of the product that frightens them off. Poor image is created by poor marketing and it's time brewers stepped into the 21st Century and made a real effort to make their beers appeal to women." "Pub managers are to be congratulated in their efforts to make women feel more welcome. The days of smoke-filled, dark and dingy bars serving dodgy cheese rolls are numbered, but at a time when UK beer sales are falling it is remarkable that brewers are not targeting the equally lucrative female pound."

The 'Ask if it's Cask' campaign features hundreds of advertising billboards throughout the country, supported by leaflets and posters in thousands of pubs.

 
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