Beer brewer Grolsch will not run a sporting event-focused marketing campaign around the World Cup in Qatar this year. The decision was prompted by a “coincidence of circumstances”, including international criticism of the human rights situation in the Gulf state, a spokesman said on Tuesday. On Monday, supermarket chain Lidl announced the same.
“We have just launched a new campaign, the focus is on spending time together. We are not going to make it a separate World Cup campaign,” said Grolsch’s spokesman. Football or references to the November and December sporting event do not appear in advertisements.
Grolsch also thought about how customers would respond to marketing communications referencing the World Cup. The Dutch brewer is not yet sure whether it buys airtime during commercial breaks around World Cup matches.
In Qatar, the conditions under which migrant workers build stadiums for the World Cup are particularly criticized by human rights organisations. According to these organizations, thousands of guest workers have died since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010. This has happened, for example, at construction sites where stadiums were built for the tournament.
In previous Dutch national team final tournaments, the beer brand offered special promotions around a European Championship or World Cup. In later editions, there was less emphasis on orange merchandise, Grolsch reports.
The Lidl supermarket chain has already indicated on Monday that it will not carry out a major advertising campaign around the World Cup in Qatar. This would be inappropriate due to a “sum of factors”. Industry peers Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Plus don’t yet know what they will be doing around the World Cup.