Miller Lite Faces Backlash Over Spot Launched During Women's History Month
For Women's History Month, Miller Lite released an ad starring Ilana Glazer. The video honored female brewers throughout history. Now, more than two months later, the clip's gone viral, generating copious controversy and coverage, with some folks on social accusing the brand of pandering to woke sensibilities and/or being out of touch with its core male audience. The spot's launch preceded the Bud Light dust-up surrounding transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
As it absorbed flak, mainly from folks on the right, Miller Lite owner Molson Coors told DailyMail.com: "This video was about two things: worm poop, and saying women shouldn't be forced to mud wrestle in order to sell beer [the storyline in an old sexist Miller ad]. Neither of these things should be remotely controversial and we hope beer drinkers can appreciate the humor (and ridiculousness) of this video from back in March."
Here's our original story from March 7:
Through the years, a lot of beer advertising has been outrageously sexist, objectifying and demeaning women with a focus on bikini-clad beach bods and obnoxious party jiggling.
To some extent, of course, that describes much of marketing's history, regardless of the product category. But brewers have been especially culpable—a fact that Miller Lite (guilty as the rest) seeks to address in a campaign timed to Women's History Month.
Themed "Bad $#!T to Good $#!T," the work from Alma invites consumers to donate "old sexist beer advertising" for conversion into fertilizer. The resulting $#!T will be used to grown hops for female brewers.
Comedian Ilana Glazer breaks it down, explaining the historically important role women have played in brewing, and why it's centuries past time they got their due:
For months, Miller has collected old ads, displays and posters. "Hundreds of pieces have already been bought and removed from the internet," the brewer says, encouraging "basement hoarders and fans" to visit this dedicated site and pitch in.
Do folks really "hoard" ancient ads in their cellars? Nestled next to their decorative empties from hazily remembered fraternity days, in a cobwebbed corner of moldy dreams?
"Miller Lite wanted to recognize that without women, there would be no beer," says Elizabeth Hitch, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "To honor this, we wanted to acknowledge the missteps in representation of women in beer advertising by cleaning up not just our $#!T, but the whole industry's $#!T while benefiting the future of women and beer."
Glazer adds: "I know women have been erased from building many industries from the ground up, and yet I was still surprised to learn that they were among the first beer brewers in history. After years of treating women like objects, the beer industry has an opportunity to shed more light on just how powerful women's contribution has been."
CLIENT: Molson Coors, Miller Lite
CMO: Michelle St. Jacques
GLOBAL VP, MILLER FAMILY OF BRANDS: Sofia Colucci
SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR: Elizabeth Hitch
ASSOCIATE MARKETING MANAGER: Kelsey Ott
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, DDB WORLDWIDE: Ari Weiss
FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN: Luis Miguel Messianu
CO-PRESIDENT & CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Alvar Suñol
VP, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jorge Murillo
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Christian Liu
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Maia Swift
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Luis Nunez
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Martin DeFerrari
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Vanessa Castaneda
COPYWRITER: Raquel Chisholm
EVP, OPERATIONS AND PRODUCTION: Michelle Headley
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION: Yeyo Marquez
SR. PRODUCER: Mimi Cossio
PRODUCER: Rudy Leschhorn
SR. BUSINESS MANAGER: Candy Cabrera
DR. OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Rosi Pratts
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Karen Udler
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Jose Hawayek
ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR: Stephanie Albrecht
VP, DIGITAL CONTENT & EXPERIENCE STRATEGY: Michael Sotelo
TEAM LEAD: ASSOCIATE CONTENT CREATOR: Michelle Robles
SR. MANAGER, CONTENT & EXPERIENCE STRATEGY: Rosaura Yapur
STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Mauricio Cadena
ASSOCIATE STRATEGIC PLANNING DIRECTOR: Felipe Diaz-Arango
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER: Victoria Lutgring
COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR: Martha Castro
PRODUCTION COMPANY: STRIKE ANYWHERE
DIRECTOR: PETE MARQUIS
PR AGENCY: ICF Next
MEDIA AGENCY: Connect
SOCIAL AGENCY: VOLT