A petition was launched yesterday demanding the removal of a flyer aimed at recruiting for the CAMRA Young Members group. It was sent to societies across the country to be distributed at Freshers Fairs.
Franzi Florack, who started the petition, accused CAMRA of showing “incredibly sexist pictures of vintage pin up models who wear low cut corsets, have open red lips and blond hair and who present their boobs and themselves to the viewer and the male beer drinkers in the flyer”.
She said: “This is not just an offensive way to objectify women who join real ale societies but also an insult to the intelligence and taste of ANYONE who has fought hard to stop 'beer sexism'.
“We believe that the real ale community should present itself as inclusive, non-threatening and friendly and that it should promote gender equality in ideology and visual images.”
The CAMRA Young Members group confirmed in a tweet that they had raised concerns about the leaflet and were not told it would be distributed.
This morning CAMRA issued a statement to the PMA from Keith Spencer, its director of membership.
It said: “CAMRA’s recent young membership campaign has been met with both positive and negative feedback since its launch a few weeks ago. However, as a number of people have informed us they find the imagery sexist and are offended by this campaign, CAMRA has decided to withdraw this material from circulation.
“The campaign was discussed with young marketing professionals within CAMRA’s Young Membership Marketing Group, which is made up of men and women, and they supported this creative. However, CAMRA takes all complaints very seriously and we would like to apologise for any offence this may have caused.
“Now that CAMRA has decided to remove this campaign, it will work with CAMRA’s young membership to create a new campaign. If any CAMRA members would like to feed ideas into this campaign then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Responding to the statement on Twitter, Florack said: "I am not happy about the published CAMRA response as it doesn't apologise and it keeps claiming that they considered feedback."
The petition has so far been signed by 170 people.