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Out with the old…

17 March, 2023

Miller Lite – an American beer brand – has recently admitted to a history of sexist marketing and reflected on the brewing industry’s objectification of women on poster fronts and adverts.

Beer advertising has traditionally reinforced traditional gender roles, portrayed women as seductive and featured women as sexual objects. If you’re not aware of the problem already, a quick google image search of “sexist beer ads” can give you an idea of its extent.

Miller Lite is aware of its contributions to this. In a bid to make amends, it has launched the Bad $#!T to Good $#!T campaign, collecting old copies of sexist advertisements and turning them into fertiliser to help grow hops for women brewers.

The campaign works by buying back and collecting old advertisements, not only its own but from other brands too, which are then shredded and composted. After a couple of months, this gets fed to worms, who create castings (worm poo) that becomes compost fertiliser. Female farmers then use this fertiliser to grow hops, which are subsequently donated to over 200 female brewers to produce beer.

The Bad $#!T to Good $#!T campaign demonstrates a unique approach to promoting equity after a history of objectification and sexism and celebrates and supports women’s contributions to brewing (after all, until it became an industrialised process, brewing was largely dominated by women). While one modest campaign won’t undo decades of sexism, Miller Lite’s campaign is a nice example of a brand owning up to its role in a problem and coming up with a creative solution that delivers social and environmental impact.

By Bertie Bateman

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