Dogfish Head Requests to Sever Ties with RateBeer Amid Anheuser-Busch Acquisition
Dogfish Head Founder, Sam Calagione penned a blog post earlier today admonishing ties between RateBeer and Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) after it was announced on Friday that ABI’s venture arm, ZX Ventures had acquired minority shares in the popular beer rating/ranking website.
Calagione cited the Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ) Code of Ethics, calling the union, as well as other ABI funded cites, Beer Necessities and October, a “blatant conflict of interest”.
SPJ’s “Act Independently” section:
- – Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- – Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
- – Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
- – Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
- – Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.
As a result, the Dogfish Head founder has requested that RateBeer and ABI remove any mention of Dogfish Head products from their websites and also urged other independently owned craft breweries to take up the call in defending independence by following suit.
For more information check out the blog post from Dogfish Head’s website.