Where’s The Love?

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.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.