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Goes down easy
A lesson in overreaching sexism

If you’re just tuning in, DEBC has been catching some serious flack this week for the use of the phrase “Goes Down Easy” to market its Dallas Blonde beer. It all started when we posted the following photo to facebook…

photo

It’s a picture of a delivery van adorning the phrase “Goes Down Easy” next to a can of Dallas Blonde. The phrase, in its literal sense, is meant to describe the easy drinking nature of the beer.

The uproar came after this post pointed to the phrase being sexist and promoting rape culture. Like, really? Then, there were some follow up posts, which led to some inappropriate name calling on twitter.

Sorry for that, but…

If you were being an asshole, got called an asshole, then accept being an asshole and move on. For the few who were trying to have a productive conversation, I apologize for getting caught up in the moment. I appreciate your comments.

I saw every critic of this campaign as if they were likening it to rape culture. It took a minute, but I then began to realize that some people were just offended by the joke. That I can understand.

As we’re all adults (if not, you should have already been directed here), let’s go ahead and bring the innuendo front and center – it’s a literal description of the beer with a blowjob joke. A double entendre. And yes, I find that funny.

What’s not funny is how that’s been interpreted to promoting rape culture. If anyone is to blame for promoting such thoughts, it should be those interpreting the phrase to that level. Shame on you.

The initial post likened our joke to a Belvedere ad, showing a disheveled woman with the phrase “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” I can agree that this was going too far.

But, if you somehow link all oral sex to violence against women, the problem might lay with you.

You have a choice in the way you perceive this campaign. It can be seen in its literal sense, you can choose to see the innuendo, or you can fly off the deep end and call it rape culture. But those are your thoughts, and your thoughts only, to own.

What’s even less funny is how these “sexist” attacks have carried over into our Cans For Cans campaign, which is raising awareness and money to fight breast cancer.

Sophia had this to say…

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.55.18 PM

Sorry you feel that way Sofia, and sorry for your loss, but the person who started Foundation 56 lost his mother to cancer. I’m sure she would have gladly given up a can, a boob, a tata, tit, or whatever it took to save her life. I know her son would, and I applaud him for the work he’s done.

So, if the number one defense against breast cancer is early detection, why are two out of three women left undiagnosed? Why are so many women still dying from this disease?

We chose Foundation 56 because it’s a street level organization that is fighting this battle on the front line. They have a traveling clinic that gives free mammogram screenings, yet is only capable of 17 per day. If we can be the catalyst for a second clinic, then we’ve done our part.

This campaign has also been called “sexist capitalism.” As we’re a small manufacturer, not even two years old, one dollar per six-pack is our profit. If more Companies chose to give away their profit for these issues, then we’d all be in a better place.

As a Company, we’ve chosen to be involved in these issues because that’s what we believe community based businesses should do. And that’s not always an easy choice.

Next month, I’ll be supporting a creepy stache in hopes to raise awareness for prostate cancer. And if I ever find myself lying in a bed, dying from such a disease, you can call my prostate, or even my testicles, whatever the hell you want. It’s called awareness month for a reason.

While I strongly reject the notion that this campaign promotes rape culture, I do admit the double entendre. Unfortunately, double entendres are only funny when they’re out of the spotlight.

With that, I’ll be removing the slogan from the van. Putting it on a can is one thing, but on the side of a van, where it’s impossible to ignore, is another issue entirely.

To those who have been offended by this glorified blowjob joke, I am sorry. Lesson learned.

To those who have likened this to rape culture or tried to cheapen this to just some sexist asshole trying to sell beer, shame on you.

Just as we don’t need cheap tricks to sell our beer, you don’t need cheap tricks to push your agenda.

“Be the change you wish to see in this world” – Mahatma Ghandi

Cheers.

96 Responses to Goes down easy

  1. Eric says:

    For what it’s worth, every single female I showed the can to(one of my favorite beers) and asked if it was offensive, not a one said yes. I had to explain how some people went from joke to rape culture, all of them saying it was stupid and a “real stretch”.

    One lady said, “If they want to promote going down super easy, they should put a blonde guy doll on the can.” Not a bad idea.

  2. Don Nielsen says:

    Unfortunately, too many people are TOO easily offended these days!! political correctness is bullshit!!! I like your Dallas Blonde–keep up the good work !!!!!

  3. Jon says:

    Very well written. I was already a big fan of DEBC but I’m a bigger fan now and look forward to supporting the causes you’re backing. Unfortunately the internet has become a platform for oversensitive individuals to turn their venom towards meaningless causes, like going after a beer slogan / double entendre, instead of really focusing on the bigger issues.
    Sorry you had to go deal with all of this. Makes sense to take the slogan off of the van just to avoid further “controversy,” but that Dallas Blonde is gonna taste even better going down (my throat).

  4. Lex Talionis says:

    Nice job caving to the feminazis. Sounds like you don’t need your prostate since you’ve lost your sack.

  5. Daniel Brown says:

    Shame on you.

    The initial concept and this blog post are so damaging to your brand. Best of luck with your ignorance.

  6. Kate says:

    How many people would have to be offended by this before you stopped being defensive? This “apology” is only going to get cheers or be accepted by people that were never offended. As a new brewery, I might listen to the few dissenters as they cared enough to mention it to you instead of immediately taking their money elsewhere.

    Also, the we care about women because we knew one that died is pretty weak as a comeback to an alive woman that is telling you her real experience. I believe you can find, if you look, that there is an entire wave of survivors that think breast cancer awareness campaigns, especially making light of the trauma are not helping not funding much of anything except the uninformed.

    I have a sense of humor but please feel free to get defensive, write me off, and never hear from another wave of potential customers.

  7. Jeremy C says:

    A reasonable response to an unreasonable problem. I agree – while not personally offended by the aid campaign (it’s really a very mild statement), I can see someone being a bit upset by it. But tying it to a promotion of rape culture is absurd. Such people are only looking for people to attack for the sake of feeling superior.

  8. Sarah says:

    This makes me sad. Since we hadn’t heard from you in a few days, I had hoped you were taking the time to find out what rape culture is, how it impacts the lives of many women as they work/study/live their lives, and how our culture continues to normalize and perpetuate it. Based on what you’ve written here, however, I see you are more interested in playing victim than really trying to understand. Please count me out of your future customers.

  9. Alana says:

    I think part of the issue is that “rape culture” is a very broad term with no agreed-upon definition. I’m no expert, but my understanding is that sexual objectification can be part of the definition of rape culture. I think that may be what critics picked up on – suggesting that a woman is “easy” implies that she can be used without consideration of who she is or what she wants.

    To be honest, I’m slightly less offended by a slogan of “goes down smoothly” because smoothly has a positive connotation of skill, whereas easy implies lacking standards. I think the critics feel like they’re fighting to teach young women that it’s ok to have standards.

    I wasn’t particularly offended with the slogan on the can, but I think there’s questionable taste in making it so prominent on the van. I think it’s a good compromise to take it off the van.

  10. JD says:

    Wow, what a poor marketing decision on your part. All you had to do is apologize for offending folks and go about your day. But no, you’ve tied your brand to THIS. So dumb.

    FYI: At it’s root, rape culture is all about how society encourages male sexual aggression and, at the same time, objectifies the female body. Rape culture paints women as conquests to be won, as sexual gratification just up for the taking.

    Your ad reflects this pervasive rape culture because it casually jokes about a blow job & getting an “easy” blonde woman. It *so casually, so easily* dehumanizes women as tools for sexual gratification, without apology or any social awareness.

    As a male, you don’t encounter this casual kind of sexism–the kind that paints you as a conquest or tool for sexual gratification in every other magazine / street sign / tacky purple delivery van. Your privilege as a male makes you arrogant and ignorant and, wow, does it show.

    Shame on you.

  11. WD says:

    Not offended, got the joke. The vocal minority has had their say. Thanks for taking it off the van, there are so many more urgent concerns to worry about in our society besides what’s written on a small brewery’s van. I like the beer and I’ll keep drinking it (responsibly). I appreciate the good intent.

  12. Kevin Moore says:

    We love the beer and the funny joke. My wife loves the beer as wel and thought it was funny as well.

  13. Cam says:

    News has just broke, the NAACP is upset with DEBC for their offensive label on double “brown” stout. Its double entendre will be scrutinized by Jesse Jackson in his next press conference….

    I think everyone just needs a beer!

  14. danielle says:

    blows my mind how many people nowadays choose to be offended by things. the whole politically correct agenda has turned us into a nation of thin-skinned crybabies who have nothing better to do than find things to bitch about.

  15. James DeBoi says:

    I am a frequent visitor to the brewery and consumer of various craft brewers I for one find this over reaction to the ad campaign absurd. It’s a tongue and cheek play on words that at best should make someone chuckle and at worst roll their eyes. The use of “rape culture” is far reaching and down right absurd. The slogan doesn’t use force, fear, anger or demands. The cans for cans objection is more valid but the oversensitivity of people gets them to worry more about the term than the cause and good that is being done. I have lived my whole life with muscular Dystrophy most of it confined to a wheelchair so for fundraising purposes that help find a cure I’ll be disabled, handicapped, challenged or to be blunt a crippled if it helps a greater cause so that I may someday walk again. In the meantime everyone relax and have a beer.

  16. frank says:

    I think the guy up there commenting about your prostate does a great job of showing you the kind of person who’s deeply committed to casual and routine sexism. He tends to prove your critics’ point just by speaking. Whom do you like better?

  17. This campaign is sexist, degrading, and violent. To make a mockery of honest reactions is shameful. Will never buy this product and have told my friends and family about it. You want a bunch of disgusting pro-rape drinkers? Have at it. The rest of us will steer clear.

  18. Jay says:

    When did “easy” start equaling “rapey?” A girl chooses to be “easy” or not. I don’t rape her either way. A slogan from a brewery certainly doesn’t make me any closer to raping anyone. It doesn’t make me think “easy” women are any more rapeable. There are “easy” women. There are women who are not “easy.” It is the choice of the individual woman which she wants to be. Rape really doesn’t come into the picture.

  19. James DeBoi says:

    Not quite sure I get the ad being violent. As I mentioned above it’s a tongue and cheek blowjob joke not a statement of ALL women. Nor does it portray non consenting actions in any way. If anything sexual even subversive is going to cause a boycott of products be sure to avoid all sports with cheerleaders, any cars that portray the guy getting the girl (to be fair vice versa as well), aftershave, Cologne, shaving cream, diet pills, medications that help libido, the list goes on and on can be seen as sexist, derogatory, and thus violent. Infact the internet can be used for porn and hate speech so maybe it should be boycotted as well 6 degrees of separation and all. I hope this sounds as foolish and laughable as those claiming to boycott a beer they would otherwise enjoy because of an over reacting culture that searches to be offended.

  20. Trina b says:

    Dude, Fail. You didnt intend to make a joke that people liken to rape culture. your ad was crass and childish, but forgivable. however, you’ve made matters worse for yourself by flame throwing at your critics instead of learning how to be a better human being. Your lack of knowledge about gender equality rhetoric is no excuse for trying to justify a horribly demeaning ad. and dont get me started with “oh i donated to breast cancer”. That’s been a cheap and lazy marketing ploy for decades, says nothing about an entity’s ideas about women, and half the companies who do the pink ribbon thing profit more from the proceeds than they donate.

    dont think this ad promotes rape culture? Lets break it down using canon gender studies.

    Rape culture definition:
    Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society,[1] and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.[2]

    Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION, and trivializing rape. (Source: Wikipedia)

    You’re right, the joke itself does not directly promote rape. THE IDEAS behind the ad, ie the probably unconscious notion that it is perfectly acceptable to demean and objectify women ( in this case to sell a product), is rape culture, because it DEHUMANIZES a marginalised group by making them appear not as people but as sexual commodities, which mirrors and validifies the attitude of rapists.

    Ok?

  21. John, best response ever. I’m so tired of being concerned about how jokes will be received by the public. Those who don’t appreciate it…fuck em. It’s not for them. People who take a tongue-in-cheek advertisement and blow it up into some kind of political/social statement can go fuck themselves. For them to pretend that sex isn’t on the minds of everyone, every single day and present in everything they see around them, is ignorant and naive. These people have an agenda of their own and you shouldn’t be concerned with it. There are those who look to bring down anyone they can…and your van caught their eye in this case. Pay it no mind. Keep doing good. We support you.

  22. Leah says:

    I can’t say I was offended by this ad campaign–that is until you printed this “apology”. It’s one thing to make a mistake, explain it and apologize, but it’s an entirely different ball game to blame your lack of social awareness on other people. Shame on US? Shame on the people who are more aware than you? No dude, instead of wimping out maybe you should just be better informed. Take note that really the only comments in your favor here came from men, did it ever occur to you that since you’re objectifying women, maybe they’d be the ones to ask? We deal with this hell every day, don’t write it off as our minds playing tricks on us because 1) trivializing women’s issues is another justification of rape culture 2) this is our reality, this is what we deal with day in and day out. We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty just because your classless, ignorant joke is f-ing offensive.

  23. reagan says:

    What a terrible non-pology. This campaign is sexist, bro.

  24. reagan says:

    Just wanted to add that this is another reminder that beer culture is not welcoming to women. Unless, of course, you’re willing to laugh off “jokes” about how your role is to be a tool for (oral) sex. By the way, har har har. Hilarious and original.

  25. Kyli says:

    As a woman, a natural blonde, a mother, and a female marine who has had to deal with all manner of sexual comments, jokes, and harassment, I do not find this the least bit offensive. The doll on the can is creepy but seriously, rape culture? The fact that women are making such a big deal about this bothers me. It is your family that women are so obkectified! If women stopped letting it bother them it would not be a big deal. I am and was a very well respected marine because I didn’t let the comments of others brother me. I was much better able to command respect by ignoring their ignorant jibes than by letting it bother me and eventually all the stupid jokes stopped. I think women have a lesson to learn in acquiring thick skin. Its your company and you have the right to promote however you want to.

  26. Kyli says:

    Your fault women are so objectified* you would think auto correct could have helped me out this once

  27. mox says:

    this is another example of the ridiculous practice called political correctness…come on folks, don’t you have anything else to do?? carry on john reardon, it only bothers the pc police and if they don’t like your practices, well………so be it.

  28. RP says:

    As stated above we are all adults here and IMO we as a society are becoming way too sensitve about everything. Pretty much all the songs on the radio, TV shows, games have sex, violence, etc.. in them, but I am sure all these critics are watching and listening. I think it is funny and would love to try some of that beer. Do you disctrubute on the east coast?

  29. Ron Rudnick says:

    Where can I buy your beer in Washington state? Double entendres are the backbone of clever advertising and you’ve hit a home run with yours. Just look at all the exposure you are getting thanks to the loons in this world.
    Keep up the good advertising !

  30. Maggy says:

    As a blonde woman (ok–only for a few years so far but I’m claiming it) I think this is hysterical. I’m not the least bit offended. I”m disappointed that some women can’t take a joke and feel the need to make everything into a feminist issue. Relax, bitches. You’re making the rest of us look bad.

    John, your well written response was great and I understand why you’ve apologized for those who were offended by the blow job joke but I sort of wish you hadn’t even apologized for it at all. Anyone who can take a lighthearted piece of wit like that and throw it in the gutter needs to get over themselves.

  31. Outraged grandmother says:

    I am a mother and grandmother of intelligent and beautiful natural blondes. Your recent advertisements are obnoxious and stupid. Please abstain from using females as enticement for your beer ads
    unless you can project them in a better light.
    Many of your customers are women.
    Thank you

  32. Cynthia Tower says:

    What an arrogant response. And you still don’t get it.

  33. Willie Appleby says:

    I guess when those of us that protect and practice liberty are subjected to attacks that use catchy lables such as “rape culture” we should immediately change our way of doing things. No. I thought the van and the play on words was funny. When I first saw it, nothing about rape or the deameaning of women came to mind. I wonder how this twisted thinking using the catch phrase “rape culture” goes with the next bikini clad bombshell that advertises something else. Lighten up people! Drink the beer and dont be afraid to have fun! BTW, cant wait to get to Big D and see just how the Dallas Blonde goes down! Keep up the good work!

  34. Olivia says:

    Wow don’t we want beer to go down easy? I don’t understand how this promotes rape culture. Sex maybe. I have a lot of male friends and they speak of how blonde Caucasian women are fun, even in pairs!! No rape there, all consensual. I think everyone gets it and we know why. Some ppl just may not like it. Don’t change I’ve seen worse examples of free speech!

  35. Jeff K says:

    I will be searching for your brand the next time I’m out. I laughed at the joke. Call me immature. Call me sexist. Call me a beer drinker (which is the point is you selling beer, right?). Lighten up, people.

  36. P. says:

    “Goes down EASY” indicates willingness. Willingness does not equal rape. If the ad said “Goes down with force”, then we’d have a problem. There is no “rape culture” being promoted here. And yes, I am a rape victim, so I think I have a right to address the issue.

  37. Jackson says:

    I’ve never heard of your product or your ad campaign till it hit Fox News. I found it fun and inventive as well I plan on making my way to TX to sample on my next trip! As for the stretch to say it plays into the “Rape culture” is appalling. Don’t fall for it and please stop apologizing every time some crazy is offended. Do you think Budweiser every got flack for saying it was the “King of Beers”. Keep producing your product, being creative, and giving back to your local market.
    Now get brewing, there are hoards of folks thirty as hell here in Arizona.

  38. Mike says:

    I’m a conservative and generally do not care for this type of stuff. HOWEVER, I support you 100%. You are NOT promoting rape culture and you should NOT give in to those FEW that so easily get offended.

  39. Alex says:

    I have concerns with something in this discussion. I appreciate this letter and I think that it’s good to stick to your guns. We are surrounded by hypersensitivity and an abundance of ignorance. To my concern. Why do we give rape a culture? I’m not sure I understand. The term culture gives me the inclination that I should be accepting of those who fall under that blanket and those who do not know how to draw a line in the grey. We are taught as Americans to be appreciative of different cultures, so in my mind I hear Rape Culture and I see us creating a community. Sounds retroactive to me. Why throw a forgiving word in to something so atrocious and create a community for those? I think this goes along the lines of what is mentioned regarding people just “interpreting the phrase to that level”. They are rapists. That’s that. That’s my two cents (probably two much) I’m going to pick up some blondes tonight. All six of them will be willing and consenting.

  40. Tim says:

    I’m so sick of this permanent victim mentality. People need to grow the fuck up!!!

  41. Derek says:

    The lifeless girl doll, blowjob joke, passionate defense of position and continued über sexist marketing are classic mysoginy in commerce. Textbook. Nothing to see here. Yet another company and/or person choosing the easy and low road in a race towards the lowest common denominator. Deep Ellum IPA is a great beer – but just like Jay-Z made his millions before he magically saw the light (and had a daughter born) regarding ho-bitch-slut verbiage and it’s overall systemic and cultural effect, then perhaps we can hope for the Deep Ellum brewery owners to one day mature and realize crass jokes – and the free press that rides along – are no substitute for being better than you have to be and to simply making a great product. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should…

  42. Geoff says:

    What a surprise that most positive responses to this “apology” come from men.

    I agree with Derek here. Lowest common denominator at its finest.

  43. Sean Lewis says:

    The rape culture that is alive and thriving in the United States is pretty abhorrent. We need look no further than Robin Thicke lamenting blurred lines between consensual and non-consensual sex as proof that it permeates pop culture.

    But to say that any sort of reference to female sexuality is a perpetuation of rape culture is a stretch. This is not the same as the Belvedere ad, even though they use similar punchlines. Blowjob jokes (and for that matter sex jokes, dick jokes, poop jokes, fart jokes, etc) are always going to offend some people because it’s a relatively lewd or crude subject. And I don’t believe that all humor gets a pass just because it’s humor – some subjects just aren’t funny. But to suggest that “Goes Down Easy” supports rape culture is really just slut shaming.

    So what if this beer likes to get around and give a little pleasure? It doesn’t go down easy because it has diminished agency and can’t properly refuse consent. It goes down easy because it has a light body and crisp flavors. Had the label portrayed a man, would the Pimp Union raise its arms and take to internet forums to berate Deep Ellum for promoting Cunnilingus Culture?

    On a similar note, Deep Ellum does not seem to suggest that those quick to go down are the only acceptable ones. There’s nothing easy about an unfiltered rye pilsner or a double brown stout – which are downright difficult to approach and worthy of respect.

    Did I get lost on a tangent? Probably. Did I just ask a question and answer it? Yeah. Are blowjob jokes funny? Sometimes. Can they also be offensive? Sometimes. Are women or men quick to dispense oral pleasure fun people to have around? You bet. Are women or men who demand time and attention equally respectable? Yeah. Did this get blown way out of proportion? uh huh.

  44. bronsons_stache says:

    All of you taking offense to this need to get over yourselves. It is a light-hearted JOKE. I don’t hear any uproar about Miller Lite having women in clad bikinis on the beach, which is probably more offensive than a doll and a catchy phrase. They are exploiting women (mind you only skinny models, and no overweight women) but nobody is making a big deal about it. I live in VA, and I really wish this beer was sold in the area. Not because of this whole hoopla and all the unnecessary attention it has received, but because I enjoy craft beers and thoroughly enjoy supporting small breweries. I had never heard of the 56 Foundation, and I think that is a fantastic cause. Cheers to you for keeping the name & label, and I wish you nothing but the best with your brews!

  45. JT says:

    And here all this time I thought that saying was about minuscule male members, rather than women who enjoy sex and pleasuring their partners of indeterminate gender.

    Years ago, I said something was “retarded”, and my friend took exception, claiming “That’s not funny. I know people who are retarded.” (Wait, do you think she meant ME?!?!?)
    Shortly thereafter, something made her mad, and she said, in effect, “POOP!”. Of course, I had to say, “That’s not funny. I know people who [POOP].”

    Life is too short not to have a sense of humor.

  46. Benjamin says:

    Having never heard of Deep Ellum prior to this controversy, and your blog post being my first “taste” of the company, I just wanted to note that I’ll never be a customer. You’re an idiot when it comes to gender inequity, and your jokes suck to boot. Defending those base qualities in the manner you did is enough to steer any conscientious consumer elsewhere.

  47. Miles says:

    Even if your campaign wasn’t offensive (it is) and didn’t tacitly endorse already pervasive, inimical and violent attitudes toward women (it does), it would still be boring, tasteless, and played out. You seriously can’t think of a better way to market your blonde ale than using some tired sexist innuendo that’s been used by god knows how many other male-helmed breweries across the country? Given how high the stakes are for a brewery of your age and size, why would you want to alienate *any* potential consumers–*especially* women craft drinkers, who represent such a huge potential for growth in the future? Get down off your ridiculous high horse, realize that you fucked up in an embarrassing, juvenile way, and do some positive things for your brand and your brewery. We as an industry have reached a point of market maturity where it’s not just a boys club for making snickering dick jokes–people (consumers, drinkers) want their intelligence as well as their palates respected. Be respectful. And if you want to be edgy, try to be a little more creative than “easy blonde” jokes.

  48. JT says:

    Here you go, Miles:
    Two blondes are building a house. One starts to glisten from the sun and gets down off of her ladder before she gets light-headed.

    She goes around the house to find her friend, and sees the friend throwing away nearly every other nail!!!

    When she asks her friend what the problem is, her friend says, “Half of these nails have the point on the wrong end!”

    And thus our heroine admonishes her: “You idiot! Those nails are for the OTHER side of the house!”

    Can I use the word “heroine” here?

  49. Kate says:

    It’s obvious this post was written by the owner, because this is a marketing fail.

    “To those who have… tried to cheapen this to just some sexist asshole trying to sell beer, shame on you”? Seriously? I’m not ashamed to call it like I see it. Your marketing is sexist, it’s cheap, and it’s stupid. And your defense of it is stupider still.

  50. Al says:

    I am from the Dallas area and live in Alaska. Do you guys sell grawlers? If so I want one with that saying. That is an excellent saying.

    Whoever thinks it promotes rape is a total idiot. If they want something that promotes rape or any other violence they need to turn on the TV or radio. In almost every TV show or movie has sex, drugs, shootings, and death. I hate the gun control topic but if you go to the video store how many movie covers doesn’t have a gun on the cover. You can probably hold them all on you hand. You cannot watch a tv show without seeing a Trojan ads for a kid to watch. You cannot listen to a rap song without sex, drugs, and killing in it. Some rap songs promote rape. Is Sofia complaining about that.

    Post #39 by P was her name she was correct when she goes down with force now that is promoting rape.

  51. Elaine says:

    It’s a light-hearted, double entendre, has nothing to do with rape culture, and isn’t even in the ballpark of 80% of TV programs, or 90% of rap music. The argument that it even remotely supports “rape” is paper thin at best. If anything, it’s more offensive to blondes (both male and female, true or bleach) than supportive of sexual violence. For Pete’s sake, Shrek has more sexual innuendo than this ad!

    If anyone wants to battle “rape culture” your best bet would be to complain to Hollywood who makes millions off of sexual violence, boycott 75% of reality TV shows that flaunt sex, and address your concerns to all the celebs out there that are too concerned about making money than being a good role model. Better yet, educate all the young people you know about self-confidence, individuality, and that the stuff on snapchat, facebook, and instagram isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    Anyone who *still* is offended by this ad may want to consider the idea that a little “going down” may help you lighten up. I have seen worse than this on bumper stickers and on other business vehicles on the road. If you want us all to take your “rape culture” argument seriously (which it ABSOLUTELY is a serious issue, this ad just isn’t the actual problem), at least pick a more blatant target, like the VMAs, pop/rap music, and TV programs.

    Good for Deep Ellum for putting their money where their mouth is and supporting great causes – despite the fact that they are a new business that could easily pocket all their profits during these tough economic times.

  52. Amanda says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. As a women I dont think a giant van with a blowjob joke is the classiest or smartest business decision and recommend you sell you beer focusing on its merit rather than gimmick. The doll also is objectification which offends me. I don’t think it was a rape joke, but I dont feel very good being reduced to a bimbo who will put out. Please consider women as not just sex objects, but as humans. Sexuality and appearance are two of many aspects of a woman – please focus on building us up to be strong members of our society – not just a blond bimbo.

  53. gag says:

    Hahaha you are $$$$$ off of this you f–ker

    Great job, showed ad to my wife and she said I actually don’t give a s–t!! aswell. I love you

  54. Tamara says:

    Thought the joke was funny. Doesn’t detract from the beer, and although I prefer the Double Brown Stout and the Rye Pils, the Blonde does go down easy. As a woman who appreciates a good beer and a good joke, I’m glad you’ve managed to keep your sense of humor while making some awesome beer.

  55. Gerald says:

    John, stick to your guns. As a fellow brewery owner, running a business that gets scrutiny from every possible faction is exhausting. Why do you think all politicians are shitbags….. because they’re the only personalities that can deal with the microscopic and vile scrutiny it takes to survive it. Thus delivering spineless, pliable, gutless, and cowardly leaders more often than not. You made a choice to go down a road that reflects your personality. The best blonde ale and the marketing joke obviously made sense and amused you and your crew enough to get cans made and put it on a van. Now, you offered an off the cuff explanation and left handed, but sincere, “apology” as an attempt to meet in the middle with detractors, good on ya, but as you can see it just fuels the 50/50 split. In the end you can’t please everyone. No matter what you do there is going to be someone that finds fault in what you do…. good, bad, or indifferent. The only problem is that in 2013 the sense of entitlement is disgusting. Every little whiny asshat who just can’t help but get their feelings hurt, feels the need to jump someones shit because they are offended. I personally cant stand half the fucking retards that posted in, about, or around response to this “incident”. Yep, I said it “retard” it’s a modern idiom that is used everyday all day all over the world….deal with it. Deep Ellum Brewing has a personality, which I find fantastic. Deep Ellum is not just another middle of the road, boring fucking “look at me too”, centrist bunch of homebrewers gone wild. These dudes decided to do something in life. If you don’t like what their doing, look away!!!! I’m sure many of you are doing something right now that many others can’t stand, but we’re not at your front door to tell you about. Every part of public daily life exploits or perpetuates something that may be a sensitive subject. In the end its OK to have a personality, and its OK to not like something. That’s what makes us different and not a homogeneous mass. If anything John you let the world know who you (Deep Ellum) are and you didn’t allow yourself to become another lame entity clogging the beer pipe line.

  56. victim of feminism says:

    even if it is on the side of the van, the supreme court of the united states has made it clear that all one has to do is simply avert their eyes (this was in regard to an outdoor movie theater that might show nudity). see Erznoznik v city of jacksonville.
    I made the mistake once of giving an inch to someone. The girl was clearly mentally ill and making stuff up and I wanted to defend myself, but I had real world deadlines and I did a no fault settlement. She ended up ended up being backed by feminist advocates, and even though legally my name was cleared it ended up being slandered on an insignificant blog and then linked to a major feminist network. That’s how these cowards operate, and I do not ever advise giving them an inch.
    it looks like Ms Cato works as an aid for a Texas house of repressentative, usually there is a prohibition on what state employees can do even in their own time-and if texas has one, try to lodge an ethics complaint. That being said, you may want to look into if you are being targetted for any adverse political donations, activities, or statements. It looks like she worked for the ann johnson campaign in 2012.
    Let them keep fighting and revealing how foolish they are, they won’t score a victory however insignificant, they won’t feel the empowerment they sought nor a power high. they’ll be stuck like a broken record and be dis-empowered, and hopefully learn how to live a meaningful life instead of a life consisting of bullying others into submission. But again it is your call, you know your finances, and your sales, and your customers, and that is what matters-not these power hungry feminist thugs.

  57. dUSt says:

    I am not offended by the slogan, but it does make me less a fan of DEBC. I’m a faithful Catholic dude who loves beer, and think your IPA is one of the best out there. I use to promote the heck out of you guys, but honestly, this whole thing just doesn’t seem right, like, morally, you know? I get it. It’s a joke. But I also understand the “rape culture” criticism, and don’t think you should be so quick to dismiss it. Anyway, I’ll still drink your IPA, I just won’t be bragging about it like I use to.

  58. Mark says:

    Omg, so many people getting their feelings hurt. Get over it.

  59. Dennis says:

    I have been homebrewing since the days before all-grain was a dream and only dry yeast existed. Strong support of microbreweries. Tip of the hat to bringing in head brewers with some serious skins on the walls. I am programmed to want to be on your side.

    But I can’t. I think the campaign is in bad taste, but would have over-looked it. It’s funny at first, like a racial joke, where you admit the clever wit but quick realize it was thoughtless and a laugh at the expense of degrading others. Your response to those who are truly offended is just wrong. So you don’t get it! Once you have daughters old enough to date, you probably will.

  60. John Franc says:

    I don’t have a problem with the slogan or campaign. Personally, I don’t think it’s very original. It’s actually kind of juvenile. If DEBC wants to use this kind of marketing to get noticed, then more power to them. I do, however, take exception to the attitude put forth by John Reardon. Calling people names, acting like no ones opinion matters, and being completely dismissive of the offense taken by it is just unprofessional. Even his apology has no sincerity. How can you run a company and be expected to be taken seriously when you treat potential buyers this way?

  61. Hey you says:

    I applaud your efforts towards breast cancer awareness, but if you don’t want this negativity affecting your community work then you should rethink your marketing strategies. You can’t be upset and blame everyone else for something you created. Honestly, if breast cancer were that important of an issue, you wouldn’t be running a campaign like this. It only seems like your on the bandwagon as a way to promote your product.

  62. Jeremy says:

    In full disclosure, previously would not drink the blonde because of the campaign, and threw away coasters at Canned when I realized this slogan was on the back.

    Without citing the studies that show young women who are more responsive to the male gaze perform worse in math and science studies, and the ways in which that objectification is a part of “rape culture,” I think your response is far more offensive. It’s difficult to understand someone else if your preoccupied with telling her/him that she/he is wrong.

    What’s more, you’ve really failed to identify your demographic. While there are plenty – many have responded to you in support – who find the joke funny, I’m pretty sure craft beer drinkers on the whole are more likely to be sensitive to social equality issues than the general population.

    I, for one, hate that I have to give up one of my favorite local beers, the Deep Ellum Double Brown Stout. But until we as a society refuse these norms, little girls like my daughter suffer their consequences.

  63. karen says:

    I am a woman and do not in any way find the ad offensive. In fact, I find it hysterical. It’s rare that people can throw caution to the wind and enjoy an inside joke or make something fun. Bravo to the crew at the brewery for coming up with this. It has done exactly what i assume they wanted, brought their product front and center. The truth is, good or bad press is better than none at all!

  64. Chris says:

    Here’s a crazy idea: make good beer, and you won’t need to use stupid sexual innuendo or objectification of women to sell it. Since you’ve already got the first part down (making good beer – I enjoyed what I got to try at GABF), I’m surprised you stooped to this level in the first place.

    Leave the “sex sells” stuff to big beer. And if you have any suspicion at all that your marketing might objectify women, ask a few first. They’re your customers, too.

  65. karen says:

    I’m a woman. I’m a customer. I’m not owned at all. I don’t find it sexist or objectifying. Maybe I’m the only woman left on the planet with a sense of humor, but I think it’s awesome.

  66. Tom says:

    Isn’t getting offended by this ad falling victim to “slut shaming.” Aren’t we not supposed to be offended and think it a reflection on someone’s personality if they enjoy giving or receiving oral sex?

    There are so many nonsensical marketing-designed buzzwords that are supposed to shock people in to noticing without clear meanings now that it’s becoming hard to keep up!

  67. Bystander says:

    I was afraid you’d cave in and write a long apologizing letter directed to people who are just looking for things to be offended about. So, thanks for not doing it.

    I’d try to write a rational argument for those who hate the campaign for promoting that myth called “rape culture”, but if they could understand rational arguments, they wouldn’t believe in fairy tales.

  68. todd says:

    you can name your new beer “Feminazi Blonde” , slogan: gets butthurt too easy

  69. Not Offended says:

    I’m still trying to see the relationship between “it goes down easy” and “this advocates a rape culture.”

    I think someone is trying too hard to make the connection, and is INFLICTING their petty crusade on others.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Um, as a “dallas blonde” who LOVES Deep Ellum Brewery and beer, this is super offensive. Sexually assaulted at 15 by being forced to give a blowjob. It’s not that blowjobs are inherently bad, or that women or men should be ashamed of sexuality, etc. It’s that this stereotype is being forced on women by objectifying them without their consent to be objectified and that there are idiots out there who think the joke is funny because in their world all they have to do is act on it to make it true.

  71. Jim says:

    Love the ad campaign. Sorry to see you crater to the “offended” folks. Loved your honesty in the blog post, however. I will buy your product solely because of the original slogan and encourage others to do likewise.

  72. victim of feminism says:

    if you were raped or “forced to give a BJ you didn’t “go down easy”. try to go on urban dictionary and find “goes down easy” or google what is the definition of “goes down easy”, you won’t find an answer, when i hear the term that someone goes down easy in a suggesting manner I don’t think bj’s, I think a slut who goes willingly. A problem with most feminist is they think all sex between men an women is an act of violence perpetrated by the man upon the woman-because no women should want the male appendage and he fact a woman chooses his appendage is a social disease-a view commonly held in 3rd wave feminist circles; they think a woman should only want to be stimulated by another female-even as some of these same 3rd wave feminist advocate the concept that women should rape virgin girls so their first experience is with a woman to learn that they don’t need a guy.
    I am sure Ms Cato thinks it is perfectly socially acceptable to call women bitches, in fact I am wondering if this is all just a publicity stunt so she could become a member/blogger of bitch beer for which she is a big fan of, and is possibly going to a bitch beer event “called that time of month” and attended other bitch beer events in the past.

  73. Mike Burkhardt says:

    I followed a link about the story to your blog. I was curious since my wife and I commonly have conversations about rape culture in the media. This doesn’t seem to promote that and ultimately the line “To those who have been offended by this glorified blowjob joke, I am sorry. Lesson learned.” clearly demonstrates your sincerity by not saying “if” you were offended, very impressive. The decision to remove the slogan from the van also shows an awareness of the world around you, well done. I’m also impressed that the charity you support provides mammograms really making a difference, very cool! When you begin distribution in VA you’ve got a customer already.

  74. Beerpreneur says:

    As another fellow owner of a Texas craft brewery, thanks for the marketing-related “what not to do” business case study. When I first read about all the scuttlebutt around the Dallas Blonde slogan, I thought it was absurd and an overly thin-skinned reaction – especially with the “R” word being brandished about and all. After thoroughly reading all the comments above, I’m honestly not sure what my opinion is anymore, as some of those in opposition have made some logically valid and thoughtful responses. The fact is – I don’t have a daughter of dating age and have no clue how I will feel when I do. The bigger takeaway for me, from an industry and business perspective, is simply why? As one of the first commenters above said – Why stick to your guns so fiercely and associate your brand with THIS? As the old saying goes, “sometimes discretion is the better part of valor”. Either ignore the (honestly quite small amount of) detractors completely, or simply remove the slogan from the van going forward and continue to do that voodoo that you do. However, I think you’ll find that the blog post above will not age well with time; whether you realize it or not it comes across as very aloof, if not outright arrogant. And the whole craft-brew subset of “if they don’t like it fukem” types have long since lost their charm. The final takeaway for me is this: The slogan is something that me and the boys would have laughed our asses of at around the homebrew setup a few years back. Juvenile? Perhaps. Honest? Definitely. That was our hobby and our weekend refuge among friends. We now have a business (and daughters), and will think long and hard about how we present our brand in the market.

  75. Steven says:

    Yes a number of breweries tend to use double entendres in their marketing of and the naming of their beers. Here in Atlanta, SweetWater Brewing once had a seasonal called “Donkey Punch”, and currently has one called “Happy Ending” and some of their beers have taglines that are pretty blatant double entendres yet nobody here in Atlanta has gotten a stick up their butt about it.

    We live in a pretty messed up society these days. Terms like “rape culture” and “bullying” have become catch all terms with pretty broad definitions and that’s a dangerous thing. People are way too damn sensitive about stuff and honestly need to get a life instead of making everyone else’s lives miserable….

  76. JCB says:

    My wife and I, who both work in marketing, discussed this slogan, and the resulting firestorm, last night. Her first question was, “why is it rape if a woman gives a man a blowjob?” I can’t agree more. Who cares about the entendre. It is juvenile and immature humor. Nothing more.

    Following a long day at work, or the other daily stresses we all encounter, humor is supposed to lighten the mood. Cheers!

  77. Wilton says:

    I like your beer and I like your advertisement, and even more important “I like Blonds” “Ireally like Blond Bimbos” I think they are a gift from heaven to be savored and appreciated and enjoyed I do not like the impulsive social media rant generally driven by a bunch of misfit women most of whom cant get a man . They have screwed up this country with the whole “politically correct mania”. This is America and we have Freedom of Choice and Freedom of Speech garanteed by our Constitution. this bunch of social misfits has no fact or sound arguement to back or justify their irrelevant position. They try and institute a kneejerk reaction in society when nothing is in their favor with the politically incorrect card. They truly are irrelevant don’t give them any traction!

    P.S. I am looking for a bimbo thats is about 3′ tall and has false teeth and a head that is flat on top so I can set my beer. turning into a ham sandwich at midnite would be a plus!!

  78. Collin says:

    I’ve been buying your beer since the first month you opened. I always viewed the Dallas Blonde design as taking a shot at the perception that we have a lot of vanity here in Dallas. ( A plastic doll with big hair and a tiara). If people want to get offended at that….. sure go for it. If you want to get mad at the slogan for being crass…. easily understandable. Linking this with being an advocate of rape…”Juuussst a bit outside”.

  79. Jade says:

    Funny, Ok people? FUNNY! Not a “promotion of rape culture” Maybe offensive to some, but (speaking as a strong, empowered, intelligent female) still just a joke. Although as a recommendation; maybe you could do a run of bottles with male blondes on them? I find they go down just as easy….lol

  80. Jody Marie says:

    As a person that has been repeatedly REFUSED a mammogram because they are too expensive for me and I’m not financially destitute enough to qualify for the free programs currently available, I’m very grateful for your campaign to raise money and make FREE mammograms available. Hopefully, I won’t need early detection and I’m certainly thankful to learn about Foundation 56 that has pointed me in a direction for an available resource FOR a mammogram.

    To sum it up for the nay-sayers:
    This controversy has opened doors and educated the public to other resources that can save someone’s LIFE!
    Let’s invest our energy and resources into things more worthwhile, instead creating drama by throwing accusations implicating VERY SERIOUS criminal activity!!

  81. Jake says:

    ….because:
    male sexual gratification = rape culture. Everyone knows that.

    Even if maybe she might potentially be going down on ladybits, you still might infer that some guy somewhere might be getting made happy… and that… just… will… not… do…

  82. Bucwolfser says:

    The fact people are bitching about the slogan on this beer is what’s offensive. Of all the things people could bitch about, they choose this? A literal waste of everyone’s time.

    Hands down, this is my favorite session beer. It has nothing to do with rape, blow jobs, fantastic packaging. So long my dear friend Scrimshaw and Boulevard Pilsner!

    Support your local brewery.

  83. Liz says:

    Late to the party, but this keeps coming up. You made a choice to market yourself a certain way and not everyone’s going to like you. Your apology starts with “sorry but”. You basically shamed a cancer survivor. The problem isn’t other people, it’s you- you’re just weaksauce.

    Seriously. Ever read Stone’s marketing material? They call their customers cheap, say they can’t handle their beers, their flagship is called Arrogant Bastard, etc. but folks drink it up. And they manage to keep sex completely out of the equation. They hire women to do their marketing and rep for them, in fact, and they treat them well.

    So maybe you should, I dunno, go sit and cry in your pretty pink van with the faux semen stains and leave the beer stuff to the big kids. And maybe stop insulting breast cancer survivors?

  84. victim of feminism says:

    well liz, it looks like the company is growing as they are hiring more people as more and more markets are demanding their beer. You feminist, as usual, make a mountain over nothing giving companies free PR.

    I don’t care about the brewery you are plugging and spamming-and utimately trying to syphon off of deep ellums media attention. if stone is restricting themselves to just hiring one gender that tells me that they are not interested in hiring the most qualified people for the job and subsequently that can leads to problems down the road. Already It seems obvious from your own account that stone isn’t marketing themselves based upon quality, in fact the only quality you cite is that they hire women.
    hmm, how many times have we seen those “I support single mom” shirts. Even hooters has the same marketing idea, marketing women to lure customers. Many businesses hire almost exclusively women, and they use that to sell inferior products when they often cannot offer quality products or services. Even in this feminist utopia where companies hire exclusively women, women are still being prostituted for profit-just feminist are too dumb to recognize it. People should be hired based upon ability, not based upon gender.

  85. Approximately one in three women in the U.S. will experience some form of sexual violence. 1in 3 women… If women say the campaign isn’t offensive it’s because they are afraid their hipster boyfriends will tell them, “It’s just a joke.” If you want to make people laugh you gotta write smarter jokes. Socially, emotionally, intellectually evolved folks find humor in self awareness, self deprecation, and wit. The Dallas Blonde Campaign perpetuates aggressive ignorance and emotional retardation.

  86. Gina says:

    This fake-pology.. (“Shame on you”…) REALLLY? For being more socially educated?? Fuck you and your mediocre beer. You don’t get any of it- not one ounce. Sincerely hope you don’t have daughters… Or sons for that matter.. Troglodyte.

  87. Confused says:

    Liz: If you see this response, I’d like to understand how you and others perceived this as insulting breast cancer survivors. I didn’t receive that message.

    In fact, if anyone supports Liz’s point of view, I’d appreciate some direction with HOW you have this perception.

    Thanks so much!

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