Truce could be served up in Tui beer ad controversy

By Abby Gillies

The Tui beer ads have offended Feminist Action. Picture / Supplied
The Tui beer ads have offended Feminist Action. Picture / Supplied

A meeting is brewing between Tui and a feminist group the company clashed with this week over a controversial television advertisement featuring scantily-clad women.

The advert, showing men outsmarting female brewers to steal beer, sparked outrage from Feminist Action which launched a campaign to have the ads removed.

Tui added fuel to the discussion by poking fun at the group in a billboard put up yesterday reading: 'Having a Beer with the Auckland feminist group would be fun - yeah right'.

But a truce may be on the way.

Today, both parties said they would be willing to meet for chat to discuss some of the issues raised.

"If she wants to have a yarn with us directly we'd be more than happy to sit down and have a beer around the table," said DB Breweries' marking manager Jarrod Bear.

Feminist Action spokeswoman Leonie Morris said she would be contacting the company this week to set up the meeting and would be happy to speak to Tui staff "anywhere, anytime".

Mr Bear said he was more focused on listening to what the group had to say rather than raising any specific points, but Ms Morris said she had several issues she wanted to talk through.

She said the television ads sent the message that women were stupid and their only value was as sexual objects.

"These adverts are not ok. They sexualise women, reducing them to a collection of body parts and they portray women as stupid - even more stupid than those dorky men," she said.

Ms Morris said Tui should be using its funding and advertising skills to reduce violence against women, rather than "attacking the messenger".

"Alcohol is a known enabler of aggression and violence. They are contributing to an environment that supports violence against women."

The feminist group launched an online petition and Facebook campaign against the adverts, calling for support to have them banned.

However, the group has since been ridiculed by many, who labelled it as out of touch and lacking a sense of humour.

"Go Tui. Can't see anything wrong with your Marketing - its going well for you," Frank Soldner wrote on the Tui Facebook page.

Damien DeCourcy said the advertising encouraged him to support the beer brand:"Please tell me this is actually a billboard somewhere. If it were in the Auckland CBD I would exclusively drink Tui for the rest of the year".

Others labelled the ads "brilliant" and "hilarious".

However, some supported the feminist group's stance, calling the adverts as a disgrace and lacking dignity and class.

Mr Bear said he appreciated Ms Morris voicing her opinion and creating discussion around the issue. Feedback Tui has received about the advert and billboards has been overwhelmingly positive, he said.

- NZ Herald

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