Moa defends claims of 'misogynistic' marketing

Geoff Ross with Moa's new can packaging featuring women enjoying the outdoors.
JOHN ANTHONY/FAIRFAX NZ

Geoff Ross with Moa's new can packaging featuring women enjoying the outdoors.

Craft beer brewer Moa has dismissed suggestions its branding is "misogynistic" and says it has no plans to release a video labelled "unacceptable" by a shareholder.

At the brewer's annual meeting on Friday shareholders were shown a series of social media videos, featuring talking beer bottles, advertising its reserve range.

One of the ads was voiced by a woman with an southern American accent making reference to getting botox work done.

Shareholder Jenny Miller took exception to the portrayal of the woman as "a bit ditsy" and wanting botox.

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"It's really not acceptable when trying to appeal to us a females," Miller said.

Moa chief executive Geoff Ross said the video was intended to stereotype American culture, not female culture.

Speaking after the meeting Ross said the videos were in draft format and Moa did not have any plans for the videos yet.

"We are still working on this creative and it has no release date at this stage," Ross said.

During the meeting Miller also questioned whether it was time Moa had female representative on the company's all male board.

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Ross said diversity on boards was an issue the Moa board was aware of and he welcomed women to put their name forward for consideration.

Another male shareholder said he met a woman at the supermarket who was loading her trolley with boxes of Moa but said she finds Moa branding very misogynistic.

Half of Moa's potential market were women, many of whom drink craft beer, he said.

"But Moa's packaging seems to only involve men and I wonder If we're doing enough to market our product to women," he said.

Ross pointed out that on Moa's new beer can packaging three out of four images in the branding featured women doing outdoor activities including tramping, skiing and surfing.

In 2012 Moa was called out for its initial public offering prospectus which featured well dressed men smoking cigars and women in short skirts.

"If there's some criticism over misogynistic messages that was probably three years ago," Ross said.

"We're well beyond that and we think we've got a really diverse customer base."

A longer video telling the "Moa story" would launch this week and be played to export markets, Ross said.

Moa's share price has risen 209 per cent over the past year, from a low of 27 cents in 2015 to a closing price of 88c on Friday.

The rally comes on the back of a 22 per cent reduction in operating costs and a 35 per cent increase in revenue for the 2016 year.

However, the brewer is yet to post a profit since it listed in 2013, recording a $2.9 million annual loss in May.

Ross said being loss-making was a deliberate strategy as the company invested in growth.

"Moa's share price is very good value and as we grow that share price has got to grow with it.

"Over time it should be three or four times what it is now."

 - Stuff

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