Yet another grouping that fails to understand how markets work:
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is calling time on beers that feature sexist names or imagery at its flagship annual event, the Great British beer festival, in a new move to stamp out outdated discriminatory attitudes. Drinks that have fallen victim to crude stereotyping – such as Slack Alice, a cider described as “a little tart” and pump clips featuring scantily-clad buxom women – have been banned from this week’s event at London’s Olympia which is set to attract tens of thousands of visitors.
The blanket ban goes a step further than a new code of conduct launched by the campaign group last year and is supported by a new YouGov survey which found that 68% of female drinkers would be unlikely to buy a beer if they saw an advert for it using offensive “laddish” imagery. Sure, 68% of women won’t buy something that says “Shagmenowbigboypint”. Apparently 32% think that if they do they’re in with a chance. This being rather the point and purpose of markets.
As is the observation that some number of men are in fact sexists rather than woke snowflakes.
The point about a market being that you can put your stuff out there and see who buys it. The buyers will – they are rational beings after all – select from the varied offerings and their selections will be the ones which best increase their utility by their own measurements of that utility. Thus the Shagmenowbigboypint might get a bit more business toward closing time, who knows? Not necessarily entirely female business either.
And even to stop being puerile about it. We’ve only this one system that does provide multiple choices – that’s what a market is. But in order for ever finer meeting of utility it’s necessary for ever finer slices of the market to be addressed. That is, we need to have free market entry so we can find out what it is that actually meets peoples’ desires.
Banning something that appeals to some slice of that market is thus defeating the point and object of that very market’s existence. Sure, lots of women won’t buy a sexist beer. Some will, as will some men. The aim and art of the whole exercise being to allow those who won’t not to, those who will to.
Or, as we can put it, every beer being Shagmenowbigboypint is as bad as no beer being Shagmenowbigboypint.