03 December, 2005

Carlsberg II

Getting back to the subject of the Ski Club advertising beer.
Anybody wondered why at the official opening of Dubai Ski a few days back, they haven't given Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan "Carlsberg"-jackets to walk about? Now there you have missed your biggest marketing opportunity!
Anyway, as their newsletter happily advertises Carlsberg: (received yesterday)
Remember that December 13th is the last chance to get your membership card and ski Jacket if entitled! The rest of the ski jackets will be sold at our Christmas Party on the 14th for Dhs 100 (members only). On the 20th November a historical event happened in Dubai. For the first time ever the ski members and hosts of the Dubai Ski Club joined together at a cosy alpine pub with snow on the floor, snow ball cocktails, plus large quantities of Carlsberg rolling freely down their necks! Here we must mention the sponsors we have supporting us - Sony Ericsson, Al Boom Marine, Carlsberg, The Golden Tulip (Khasab), and Ski Dubai.
Restaurant Brauhaus at Jumeira Rotana Hotel are hosting a Christmas Night for us on Wednesday 14th December at 8pm. This will be a cozy evening with a Christmas theme.
During the evening there will also be a raffle, with great gifts from:
Golden Tulip
Sony Ericsson

..and underneath that they advertise a Santa Day in SkiDubai for the kiddies. Well not sure about you, but for me that's too much. If you feel like me, write to the Skiclub. I got a funny reply from them, maybe you will be more lucky than me:
Carlsberg is a main sponsor for the world cup, if you look at the logo on our ski jacket it do not mention anything about alcohol. Carlsberg is also making soft drinks.I am sorry if we have offend you, we can offer you either you money back or remove the Carlsberg logo from your back.


Slagothor said...

This answer is a bit disingenuous. It is true that the company, Carlsberg, does own other companies that produce soft drinks and bottled water. But those non-alcoholic drinks are not sold under the Carlsberg brand.

The logo on the jackets is advertising a product, not a company, and the only product sold under the name "Carlsberg" is beer.

Maybe this is another step the rulers are taking in the "Westernization" of Dubai: a baby step in the direction of allowing alcohol brands to be openly advertised, instead of merely inside pubs and clubs.

Maybe one day we'll see sales in restaurants that are not affiliated with hotels or private clubs.

Of course, those locals that don't like this direction can now elect some members to the FNC to voice their disapproval of such matters. The next question is, how much wil the FNC meddle in what individual Emirates see as their internal business? I see an increase in federal/provincial disputes with the growth of democracy in the country. This is very familiar to anyone who has lived in a federalised state with divided local and national responsibilities.

John B. Chilton said...

slagothor wrote: Of course, those locals that don't like this direction can now elect some members to the FNC to voice their disapproval of such matters.

Actually only the half of the FNC that is appointed by the respective ruler can vote on who will be the other half of the delegation from that emirate.

It's significant, though, that the president says direct elections will follow some day in the future.

el condo said...

I'm sure there are some pithy sayings about trying to resist change. The UAE has shown that it welcomes change and it's actually happening at a pace much faster than most can imagine.

Not giving Sheikh Mohammed a Carlsberg jacket was either hypocrisy or diplomacy, or both. However, if their actions are in contravention of local or federal laws, they can be legally challenged. Otherwise, there is little we can do about it. Cigarettes are also harmful to health but cigarette companies make every effort to sponsor sporting events.

Neither myself nor my wife are smokers or drink alcohol, and we have no expectation that our children will become users of these substances, if we bring them up as we should. We tend to ignore such advertising, and we do not hold anyone else responsible for what we or our children (eventually) will do.

(We do not read opinions complaining about alcohol advertising in non-Muslim countries (such as India); nevertheless, there are pious Mulims there who live according to Muslim and Islamic tenets without making a big deal of it.)

Personally I do not believe that anyone who is uncomfortable with habits like alcohol consumption (such as myself) should be forced to wear apparel advertising such products. Complaining to the management was the right thing to do. If more people do it, they will most likely consider withdrawing the logo from the jacket.

Keefieboy said...

El Condo: that's cool - why should anyone have to be a walking billboard for anything? (Unless you happen to work for an organisation that has sponsors - e.g. sports teams etc).

Question is, is the Ski Club the same thing as Ski Dubai, or are they just a club that uses the facility? I any case, I think it sucks that this is happening.

Slagothor said...

The onset of semi-representative government in the UAE is just another reason why this is a very interesting place to live right now.

It'll be interesting to see how certain dynamics develop, such as balance of power issues between the Council and the sheikhs, if and when the FNC is fully elected.

CG said...

"Maybe one day we'll see sales in restaurants that are not affiliated with hotels or private clubs."

This is not progress then, since they DID actually sell alcohol in restaurants not attached to hotels and I think it was stopped in the early 80's. A lot of good restaurants closed then aswell due to lack of business and thats when the hotels really sucked in all of the business.

Keefieboy said...

cg: yikes! b4 my time. Although there is a sneaky return to that going on methinks...Madinat Jumeirah (yes I know there are hotels on the site). Fibber McGees (allegedly part of a 'private club' for the adjoining building - yes, of course I'm a member). Jebel Ali Cloob, yes I'm a member there too. And The Bunker, I used to be a member.

Hmmm, I'm sure the Dubai leadership are well up for it, but I guess it's a sensitive issue for some of the other emirates

hallodubai said...

well honestly i have a feeling that in their case we are talking sheer ignorance. All their management is new to the UAE and when asking them if they knew about the UAE laws for advertising Alcohol, they all looked very dumbfolded. Also the fact that their Chairman gives an excuse for Carlsberg saying that they sponsor the FIFA world Cup in Germany is somewhat ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you lot are making a dune out of sand pit! this line of comments seems to be a bit odd, as there can only be a handfull that can even claim to be offended, ie Muslims. And even then would all Muslims be offended. I know it is against the law to advertise Alcohol but then what are you going to do. It is a fact that the breweries similar to the tobbaco makers have a lot of money and will spend it to get their brand out there. I think this argument could be a lot stronger if there weren't crowds of muslims in the bars everynight, don't you? Seems to be a bit ironic to me. I am surprised no one as kicked a up about red bull doing alot of sponsorship for the extreme sports. As I and all the people I know if they ever do drink red bull is only with Vodka. Same S"@t differnt smell?

BD said...

Alcohol and tobacco are the sorts of things that most governments regulate to some extent. So how far people want to go in allowing advertising is certainly a quesion open for debate. Of course, some Muslims will take a religious stance on the matter but clearly many societies are just as concerned over the health and safety implications.

Anecdotally, one of the most outrageous forms of objectional advertising I've ever seen--for cigareetes--was in Vietnam, a still dogmatically socialist country. Young and seductive "Miss Vietnams" would ride en masse on motor scooters to the wonderfull outdoor cafe's that are all over HCM city. They'd go from table to table offering people branded cigarrettes--and in place of the Miss Vietnam banner they wore the cigarette's label. Invaribly all the guys and many of the ladies too would accept the offer of a free smoke.

Predictably it's a place where probably 90% or more of the young men smoke. That sort of thing has got to be regulated!

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