"Lies, hypocrisy and deceit can be useful tools; PR campaigns repeated over and over on LinkedIn – until you actually believe them yourselves – is good for driving awareness, and if anyone questions the validity of your claims, you can simply move on to the next campaign."
Here at Saturn we've long been concerned that BrewDog - founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie - who have, to put it delicately, not exactly 'walked the talk'.
BrewDog have consistently held themselves up as radical champions of a new way of doing business; brave, honest and socially conscious. Yet in 2008, this seemed to be thrown into question when the Portman Group accused them of aggressive marketing and, in May 2019, they were accused of stealing marketing concepts from a PR firm and from job applicants using fake interviews and other deceptive practices.
This and numerous other contentious issues gave off a sense that BrewDog was perhaps not everything they made themselves out to be.
So, this morning we were not exactly surprised that a group of former BrewDog employees calling themselves Punks With Purpose published an open letter heavily criticising the brand's owners and making serious allegations to do with company culture and business and marketing practices. Our only surprise was that the allegations go far beyond a brand that didn't quite 'add up'. The letter claims a number of very nasty examples of the management being seriously at odds with their high-minded principles. You can read the letter below.
What we want to explore here is not so much BrewDog - the truth of the allegations will come out over the next weeks and months - but the effect this negative publicity will have on the brand's success going forwards. This is a real-world, real-time demonstration of the power of Trustonomics - or rather the consequences for a business if it chooses not respect the basic tenets of trust, integrity & authenticity.
Lets see what happens. We'll report back when new information comes to light.