Johnnie Walker drawing criticism for female-oriented scotch

The company claimed to highlight women and increase female representation, but when the company said its whisky ‘intimidated’ women, the blowback was immediate.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

There’s a fine line between pushing gender equality and patronizing a target audience.

After Yum! brands suffered backlash for suggesting a new kind of”lady-friendly” chips, the world’s biggest scotch maker decided it would give the tactic a try.

USA Today reported:

The whisky maker is putting a woman in its logo for the first time ever — a new Jane Walker edition that will be on sale for a limited time. The image of a top-hatted and tuxedo man is transformed into a shapely, long-haired woman in the same dashing outfit.

The special-edition whisky will be sold starting in March to coincide with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrations, according to the company. The suggested retail price is $34 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

The temporary change to the “striding man” logo is an attempt to market the drink to women.

In interviews, executives painted the move as an effort to address gender inequality and to invite more women to engage with the storied brand.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.