Whale Safe Beer
In 2006 Australia’s Bluetongue Brewery (a boutique brewery based in The Hunter) embarked on a controversial campaign, in conjunction with Sea Shepherd, to save the whales (and sell more beer) by using a graphic advertisement that depicted a harpooned Japanese diner. The commercial was aimed at promoting whale safe beer and to raise awareness of Bluetongue Brewery’s support of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society and their quest to rid the Southern Ocean of Japanese Whaling fleets.
What is whale safe beer? Well it was based on the assertion that Japan was hunting hundreds of whales each year in Australia’s backyard, the Southern Ocean, on the pretext of scientific research. Bluetongue Brewery wanted Australians to be aware of who owned their beer companies, and what the owners of those brewers really represented and stood for. Essentially Bluetongue’s whale-safe campaign claimed that drinking Lion Nathan-owned beers such as Tooheys, Hahn and XXXX is a vote for killing whales because of it’s ownership by Kirin, a Japanese brewing company.
The mastermind behind the Bluetongue campaign was advertising guru John “Singo” Singleton who called on Kirin to clarify its whaling stance: “Australian drinkers deserve to know are they pro-whaling or not?”
A Lion Nathan spokesman retaliated with: “Australians are wise enough to make their own decisions as to whether this is a multi-millionaire trying to stoke racism in the Australian community to try to make a buck.”
Here is the ad, what do you think?
Funnily, since the stoush, here is a list of iconic Aussie beers that are now 100% Japanese-owned. Maybe a wise investment on Japan’s part, regardless of the state of the Australian economy we will always be a beer guzzling nation.