Miller Brewing’s Chicago billboard was an insult

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:45 pm

    This is an open letter sent to Miller Brewing executives, questioning a billboard ad outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago taking a jab at the Milwaukee Brewers, the team from the city in which the company was founded. 
    To Whom It May Concern:
    I’m writing to you in order to bring to your attention a very disappointing and unfortunate decision apparently made by someone within your company, or with whom you place the responsibility of doing your print/billboard advertising.

    I’m referring to a billboard I saw placed just beyond the right field wall at Wrigley Field in Chicago, on June 30th of this year. The billboard read: "We prefer a pennant chase, to a sausage race."

    Now let me stop this thing right here for a moment to assure you that I’m not writing you as some crazed "how dare they insult our team" Brewers fan. That is not the case. I actually think it’s quite a witty jab and would be totally acceptable from any other brewery in the world. But imagine my surprise as a visiting fan after making my way to my seats on the first base line to see this jab coming not from a competing organization or company, but from our very own hometown, homegrown business.

    That’s why I say I’m not writing this to you as a disappointed Milwaukee Brewers fan, I’m writing this to you as a disappointed Milwaukee Miller Brewing fan.

    Having Miller Brewing in Milwaukee has always been something I took pride in. Something you could brag about to others from out of state. It was something that helped earn our world renowned title of "Brew City." To see such a jab being taken at their very own hometown team was, for me, a very disappointing decision, as well as a very confusing one.

    Your company had this billboard placed outside of a field who refuses to even acknowledge your presence as a major player in the beer market, selling only your fiercest competitor Anheuser Busch’s products as well as catering to the resurgent Pabst Brewing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand the free market and the need to make a push for the almighty dollar, but to slap your birthplace across the mouth all while kowtowing to THEIR fiercest rivals? That almost insults the intelligence of the Chicagoans as well. Do you think they don’t know Miller is essentially the namesake for the Brewers? That you guys spent $40 million on naming rights to our Park? I’m willing to bet they have a clue…

    Again, I am merely writing this in order to voice my displeasure as a fan of Miller Brewing. I expected more from what is generally a class company. To insult your own home city like that reeks of disrespect to your overwhelmingly loyal hometown customers. I for one have been a Miller customer and ONLY a Miller customer since … well… eh hem … AROUND age 21 … or so.

    I work part-time in a bar near Miller Park that refuses to sell any Anheuser Busch products, because of the owners’ loyalty to your brand.

    Are these are the types of relationships you are willing to sacrifice in order to shill to a market just 90 miles south?

    If customer loyalty isn’t your thing, maybe a simple history lesson will change your mind. I’m sure you are well aware of the fact Miller Brewing was born in Milwaukee in 1855, but did you know that this was 21 full years before the birth of what would become the Chicago Cubs in 1876? Heck, even your most historically famous brand, Miller High Life, was born and bottled back in 1903, still yet four years before the namesake of "Cubs" was officially adopted in Chicago. With all that history here in Milwaukee, even before the time of the storied Chicago Cubs, you’d think you’d be a little more respectful to whence you came.

    I truly do find your marketing decision here regretful, as it has forced me to relinquish my loyalty to your brand and seek out other products on the market. If a company such as yours can’t be loyal to the very people where it has built it’s base, why should they need to return the favor?

    Thank you for your time.

    Andy Stanislaw is a resident of Wauwatosa. He is a software administrator for a local printing company is an amateur writer and blogger.

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