Sunday, August 18, 2013

Brewer's droop

Moa put itself above the rest. It behaved like a 1980s-style corporate full of brand puffery and put out marketing that was flippant, sexist and arrogant. Then it did silly things like appointing itself some kind of arbiter for what defined craft beer. 
To me, Moa was the man in the suit sitting in his glassed office looking out at a pub across the road where everyone was getting on well and drinking nice beer.
Quite. Michael Donaldson's excellent analysis of the collapse of Moa should be required reading of any young man considering a career in management going forward, and should prompt that young man to ask himself "am I in any respect like these people?" Because Moa's failure is at heart a management problem: Moa is managed by tossers.

Of course we all knew that all along; we had known the essential tossitude of the Moa management as soon as we saw the prospectus, in which the directors posed with young women, to show the world that Moa is managed by manly men. Instead, it showed the world that Moa is managed by the sort of men you would not want to see near a girls's school, the sort of men you would describe as "dodgy," the sort of men who appear in the local paper on charges of indecent exposure. If you can bear to be reminded of the prospectus, some photographs are shown on Beer Diary, accompanying a rather good article from the time.  And you might also recall Hayden Green's careful analysis. In short, they cannot say they had not been warned.

At best, the prospectus photographs said "we are men who pay young women to be with us." At worst, the photographs say "we are sex offenders who have yet to be caught;" this latter might be considered a profit warning. But somewhere in between, near the middle of this scale of seediness is the  message, "we are sad gits." Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar; at other times, it is a poor substitute for a penis. The problem for the Moa management is that they just don't get it, in both senses of the phrase. The world has moved on. Mad Men is a satire, not a management guide. Men like the Moa men are generally regarded as the sort of men with whom you would not want to share a crowded train carriage –  all sweaty suits and gropey hands, cheap aftershave and beer breath.

The sad thing about the Moa men is that the advertising industry is full of sad men just like them, so no attempt at a disguise was made. In the view of the advertising world, as the reliably flaccid StopPress reminds us, women who object to objectification must be lesbians. And let us not forget Eric Crampton's prediction:
I expect that Moa will wind up doing well. Their beer is pretty decent and they're pretty shameless. That's not a bad niche. A small brand can afford to have half the world hate it so long as it gets a few people who love it.
Well, no. It seems the age of the tosser has passed. In other news, Mediaworks – another failing company, is standing behind its presenter Dom Harvey. This is a sensible position: you would not want to stand in front of him, because he might just whip out his tadger. Harvey, a man with a history of troubling attitudes to women, made a terrible mistake, sending the Snapchat of his willy intended for his producer, Sophie Hallwright, to athlete Sophie Pascoe. This is why we listen to National Radio in the mornings.

PROTIP: say it with flowers.

Picture from Sub-Machine Gun

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