Tuesday, October 22, 2013 , Updated 4:49 p.m., October 28, 2013
UPDATED: Deep Ellum Brewing vehicle stripped of controversial slogan “Goes Down Easy”
Founder John Reardon said the tagline is merely a double entendre for a "glorified blowjob joke."
DEEP ELLUM Deep Ellum Brewing Company will remove the controversial slogan for its Dallas Blonde beer — “Goes Down Easy” — from a hot pink delivery van it acquired, founder John Reardon wrote in a recent blog post.
[UPDATE: Deep Ellum Brewing Co. posted a picture of the amended delivery van October 25 on its Facebook page. The van now shows a "Censored" bar over the slogan with the tagline, "Offensive Slogan ... Still great beer!" Reardon was unavilable for comment Monday about the change.]
The Dallas brewery came under fire on social media October 8 when it published a picture of the van (on right) to its Facebook page. Burnt Orange Report out of Austin followed up with a story on October 11 that claimed DEBC’s capitalized on “rape culture” to sell its product.
“Deep Ellum's lazy use of this well-worn sexist comparison of women to alcohol is disappointing and insulting to their female customers, but it goes deeper than that,” author Genevieve Cato said.
DEBC fired back both on social media and in Reardon’s blog post, stating the slogan is merely a double entendre for a literal description of the beer and a “glorified blowjob joke.”
“If you somehow link all oral sex to violence against women, the problem might lay with you,” Reardon wrote. Dallas Blonde's slogan will not be removed from the cans, he added, but will be removed from the van.
His blog post spurred another wave of comments both for and against the marketing campaign. The issue also raised concerns with DEBC’s “Cans for Cans” initiative this month, which donates $1 from every six-pack of canned craft beers to Foundation 56, a breast cancer outreach organization that supports education, mammogram screening, diagnostic testing and social therapy programs, according to its website. For example, the foundation maintains a partnership with the Methodist Health System to give free mammogram screenings via a “mobile mammogram unit” (read: bus) that travels around North Texas.
This is not the first time a company has used sexist marketing tactics, though. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which invites a slew of arguably tasteless puns. Dallas-based restaurant Twisted Root Burger Co. is featuring a special “Boobie Burger” and donating 10 percent of sales to Susan G. Komen. The Keep A Breast Foundation has become famous for its signature “I Love Boobies” bracelets.
In June, Pegasus News reporter Brentney Hamilton criticized DEBC’s branded Ladies Night tasting and tour, calling it “a cynical marketing ploy wrapped in a hot pink flyer featuring diamonds, stars and a tiara.”
Still, many sympathize with DEBC saying the slogan is funny and inoffensive. One commenter Tuesday, Jessica Duhon, relayed her two cents on the brewery’s Facebook page as both a “woman AND rape victim.” She said:
“I dont see one damn thing wrong with this. ‘Goes down easy’ first thing that pops in my head is the quality of the alcohol. You hear people say that all the damn time. What kind of sick perverts instantly think that references a woman?”
What do you think?