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BrewDog unveils ‘anti-sponsorship’ of Qatar World Cup


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

November 7, 2022 | 4 min read

BrewDog takes a bold stance against the Qatar World Cup in its latest marketing campaign.

BrewDog World Cup

One of BrewDog’s OOH ads

With work creeping close to copyright infringement of the world’s biggest tournament, the drinks giant has launched an out-of-home (OOH) ad campaign reflecting many of the reservations people in the UK have about Qatar 2022.

The OOH ads erected in London by BrewDog was created by Saatchi & Saatchi UK, they feature copy reading: ‘Proud anti-sponsor of the World F*Cup,’ ‘The Beautiful Shame,’ ‘Eat, Sleep, Bribe, Football’ and ‘First Russia, then Qatar. Can’t wait for North Korea.’

Explaining the campaign, a BrewDog release read: “Football is meant to be for everyone. But in Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, flogging is an accepted form of punishment, and it’s OK for 6,500 workers to die building your stadium.”


The business is also offering profits from its Lost Lager sold during the tournament to fight human rights abuse.

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On social, the brand came under fire for showing the games in its pub, to which it has responded that it “loves football, just [not] corruption, abuse and death.” It’s worth also noting that most pubs and broadcasters will be showing the games despite concerns about the host nation.

World Cup

Watt responded to such a query on LinkedIn: “We want to give people a place to watch the game and do some good at the same time. Let’s be honest – people are still going to watch the games – so we want to give them the opportunity to watch the games and raise money to drive positive change at the same time.”

He added: “We’re proud to be launching BrewDog as an anti-sponsor of the World F*Cup. To be clear, we love football. So join us. Let’s raise a glass to the players. To the fans. To free speech. And two fingers to anyone who thinks a World Cup in Qatar makes sense.”


It’s fair to say there’s a strong sense of feeling around the brand and its bold marketing strategy, which hits as much as it misses. For instance, many come to expect the launch of a bespoke can around big events.

Here are some of BrewDog's most controversial moments, which have for many bashed trust of the brand.

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