Brand loyalty is normally something that’s earned over time, but that’s not the case when one is on the payroll of a given packaged goods company. Having worked on the Coors business for several years, I was made acutely aware of the necessity of drinking Coors anywhere near my coworkers, or the client. To do otherwise would be a firing offense. In fact, I remember ordering a Newcastle once and being scolded by a creative director, who proceeded to inform me that Killian’s (a brand he worked on) was a direct competitor. I begged to differ, and still do. At any rate, when it comes to beer, people who sell and market it, often live and breathe the stuff.
from USA Today: Ross Hopkins still likes to drink Bud, even though he says a brief tryst with a Coors beer cost him his job at a Budweiser distributor.
Hopkins, 41, is suing American Eagle Distributing Co., saying the company wrongly fired him for drinking Coors in a bar two years ago.
“They flat-out told me ‘We’re putting food on your table so you could put it on theirs?'” he said Tuesday.
Colorado law says workers cannot be fired for a legal activity while off duty and away from work. There are exceptions, such as when a worker’s actions relate to an occupational requirement or create a conflict of interest.
Hopkins, who was a warehouse supervisor for the distributor, said he was not wearing a uniform or representing American Eagle when he was at the bar in May 2003 with some co-workers. He said he had ordered a Budweiser but a waitress brought Coors. He decided to drink it because he didn’t want to wait.
The son-in-law of the distributor’s majority shareholder also was at the bar, and offered twice to buy him a Budweiser, but Hopkins turned it down both times.
He was fired the following Monday.