One-in-three Brits would actively avoid a pub with 'racist' name or signage

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calls for change: one third of those surveyed by Streetbees said that communities should ultimately decide whether or not a pub should be renamed
Calls for change: one third of those surveyed by Streetbees said that communities should ultimately decide whether or not a pub should be renamed

Related tags: Pub, Sign, Alcoholic beverage, Public house

When asked whether or not they would actively avoid drinking in a pub if its name or signage had racial connotations or commemorated a historical figure associated with slavery, racism or colonialism, one third (31%) of Brits said they would take their business elsewhere.

This compares to just over half (53%) who said they wouldn’t avoid a pub because of a problematic name or signage, and 17% who said they didn’t know, when quizzed by global intelligence platform Streetbees.

What’s more, when asked whether or not they think pub operators should be forced to rename their venue if its moniker appears to have racial connotations or links to a historical figure with ties to slavery, racism or colonialism, 44% said they should while 39% said "no".

These findings come after anti-racism protesters targeting statues deemed to celebrate slavery and racism in support of the Black Lives Matter movement turned their attention to the on-trade given some of the figures featured on monuments targeted for their problematic history are also found on pubs. 

As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​, the operator of the Black Boy pub in Retford​, Nottinghamshire, has already removed an antiquated sign amid fears it could see the venue targeted by anti-racism protesters. 

What’s more, pub giant JD Wetherspoon also revealed it was “certainly willing to consider” renaming the Elihu Yale pub in Wrexham​, north Wales, due to its namesake’s historic links with the East India Company’s slave trade on the Indian Ocean. 

Communities having their say

On top of this, when asked who they think should decide whether a pub should be renamed if it’s name or signage appears to have racial connotations or commemorate a historical figure associated with slavery, racism or colonialism, one third (33%) said it should be a decision made by local communities rather than local authorities (19%) or the Government (15%).

This comes after family brewer and pub operator Everards of Leicestershire disputed claims made in a petition​ that it has outright refused to change the name of the Black Boy in Headington, Oxford, amid concerns over racial connotations.

The operator of 175 pubs across the East Midlands moved to clarify that rather than being interpreted as an outright refusal, its stance is that there is no quick response to the issue given the pub’s historic identity and that it would seek further consultation with locals before any alterations are made.

“A pub name is often a very special part of the story of the local area so whenever we consider a change of name we do have to take some time to consult with a wide range of audiences,” the operator stated. 

What’s more, of those asked the same question by Streetbees, a quarter (24%) responded “no one, it shouldn’t happen”.

Related topics: Marketing

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