Saturday, October 27, 2007

When is an apology not an apology?

When it comes from Sam Adams The Beer. The Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams Beer, has issued a statement regarding its cease and desist letter to the Portland, Ore., D.J.s who bought the domain names and Unfortunately for The Beer, there really is a candidate for mayor of Portland named Sam Adams, and the D.J.s bought the names with the promise of giving them to Sam Adams The Candidate if he would appear on their show.

Those two web sites have been temporarily pulled because of the legal action. Not much word yet on what other Sam Adamses are doing about it. Sam Adams The Author (me) is still blissfully using his own name

The statement issued later by Sam Adams The Beer actually uses the words "for that we apologize" in regard to the incident involving Sam Adams The Candidate, but that's about as far as the mea culpa goes. In fact, the apology isn't for threatening to sue, or even for saying the company was willing to "discuss" allowing Sam Adams The Candidate to use his name "probably for the length of time the election is being held." No, Sam Adams The Beer apologized for not researching the matter more fully before sending the letter.

In other words, Sam Adams The Beer is sorry its bullying tactics blew up in its face.

No one should really be surprised by a nonapology from the Boston Beer Company. President Jim Koch has been issueing pseudo sorries for quite a while. In 2002, Koch apologized for appearing on a radio show during which couples had sex in public places. The fact that one couple ... well ... coupled in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York caused a major uproar. Koch claimed he didn't intend to be part of a program that "crossed the line." He neglected to note that his company sponsored the event, and it was his second year to provide the commentary. According to Fortune magazine, each couple received a list of sites to be used for sex, with Saint Patricks listed at 25 points.

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