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AD BUST: City Cracks Down On Malt ‘Murketing’

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NBC10: Philadelphia is famous for its mural arts program. But some groups said that some specific murals need to be scrubbed out. Philly’s “Mural Arts Program” has painted 2,700 murals. But while most of the murals are about life, energy and color, some murals in Fishtown are all about malt liquor, Colt 45. Pabst Beer paid local businesses for some of their wall space. But the city said the quasi-murals are illegal because a permit is needed. NBC 10 called Pabst and they are not commenting on the issue. The city is still trying to see if any local advertising agencies helped them out.The city is warning business owners that they need permission before they allow Colt 45 to put up billboards like these in the first place. The city has sent a letter to Pabst, and they are now issuing citations to businesses with the billboards, saying they must paint over them. MORE

colt45_bottoms_up.jpgBLOOMBERG NEWS: Today, successful brands know better than to order some quick copy about the New Best Thing, splash a half-naked girl next to it and count on millions to happily open their wallets. Instead, they skip overt marketing altogether and engage in “murketing,” says Rob Walker in his revealing new book, “Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.” Companies like American Apparel, Apple, Pabst, Timberland and Red Bull have done remarkably well over the past decade by trading on our desire for authenticity and our reluctance to seem like easy marks.

A “do little, sell more” approach worked like a charm for Pabst Brewing Co. Sales of its flagship product, Pabst Blue Ribbon, rose in 2002, reversing a decades-long trend of declining consumption. The company had no idea why. It turns out the beer was suddenly being embraced by young urban hipsters who appreciated the dollar-a-can promotion in certain bars and who, more to the point, liked the beer’s underground, undersold image. So to keep these new buyers, Pabst did almost nothing. It refused to take out ads or court the media and instead funded low-key “bike polo” matches between rowdy bike messengers in Portland, Oregon. Sales continued to grow. The unbranded beer is Pabst’s brand. MORE

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