A beer company’s tribute to Independence Day is causing one hell of a social media hangover.
Samuel Adams, the popular lager brand brewed by the Boston Brewing Company (NYSE:SAM), is being attacked on Twitter, Facebook and even YouTube over a Fourth of July holiday-themed commercial in which an actor recited an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. The problem? The actor omitted the famous reference to God, or rather, the “Creator,” who endowed us with certain unalienable rights, according to Thomas Jefferson and Co.
Said the commercial:
“All men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Expunging the Almighty from our treasured document didn’t sit well with some patriotic purists, mostly those of the conservative persuasion, who descended upon the Sam Adams Facebook page to vent their holy frustrations. Some commenters vowed that they would never touch the famous Boston lager again.
“With my ‘Creator’ as witness, I will never drink another sam adams (lower case intentional) product. Amen!” wrote one user.
Guess who will never drink Sam Adams again? This girl. http://t.co/oqn8e4LAOu
â€” Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) July 9, 2013
â€” THE ONE TRUE Rob (@RobTheITguy) July 9, 2013
The Boston Brewing Company defended the commercial in a statement, first obtained by ABC News, in which it said it was merely sticking to advertising guidelines established by the Beer Institute, a trade group in Washington. “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes,” the code states.
So far that explanation has done little to quell the backlash, which is likely to last at least until the next social media-fueled dustup.
“I will no longer purchase Samuel Adams beers,” wrote one Facebook user following the statement. “It simply wasn't necessary to alter the words of the Declaration of Independence in its advertising to adhere to the industry guidelines. One reference to the Creator, contained in the original document that's being quoted, is not in any way basing an advertising campaign on a religious theme.”
The Sam Adams commercial in question has been uploaded to YouTube, where it’s been viewed more than 29,000 times. Among the more than 326 user comments is the usual mix of outrage, defense and racially charged non-sequiturs.
Watch the spot and judge for yourself here.