Bodybuilder ticked off
Molson beer campaign makes fun of female weight lifters

by Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 03/98) - Kelly Greening isn't laughing at the advertising tactics of a Canadian beer company.

The bodybuilder of four years feels that one of Molson Breweries' latest campaigns makes fun of women who strive to be physically strong.

"I don't get it. If it's supposed to be funny, I'm not laughing," says Greening, referring to a beer coaster put out by the company in an effort to sell Molson Export, a brand of beer available south of 60.

The twenty-three square centimetres of offending cardboard depicts a cartoon drawing of a female weight lifter flagged by a slogan that asks "Your date turns out to be a bodybuilder from Yellowknife. What do you do?" The flipside of the coaster offers up three choices: A. Lie. Tell her she's got the wrong guy; B. Ask her if she wants to try out for your rugby team; C. Compliment her on her superior physique and ask her if she's got any tips; Answer: Most lager drinkers answer A or B. But honesty takes guts. Besides, you might pick up some workout tips. If you answered C, treat yourself to the bigger taste of ale.

Greening finds the whole campaign offensive and sexist.

"First of all it's saying there are negative connotations to strong women. The connotation is kind of showing that strong women are not the kind of women you're looking for in a partner, that men are looking for weak women, for women that are not strong," says Greening.

Able to max bench press 101 kilograms, Greening says her physical strength helps make her mentally stronger.

"I like to be as strong as I can in body and mind. Physical strength gives me confidence and I am better able to assert myself in business," says Greening who adds that the message will only serve to further confuse the thinking of younger women and men.

"Across Canada, the message that's sent out to both female and male young Canadians is that it's wrong."

While Molson was unable to comment by press time except to say that the Ontario-based campaign was not current, Greening's fellow bodybuilding champ Warren Whitford says it's not going to make him want to buy any beer.

"They're looking to get a response from the mainstream public who probably think bodybuilding as a sport for males or females is freakish," says Whitford, the overall Northern Alberta Bodybuilding Champion.

"I think it's a general campaign and the market they're putting this on for probably doesn't even know where Yellowknife is," says Whitford who adds that "it sounds a little bit sexist to me." When asked if she had anything to say to Molson Export, Greening replied, "Kiss off. I think I'll write a letter because I'm pissed."

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