Pub bosses sparked a storm in a D-cup when they advertised their special drinks promotion featuring a real ale using a saucy photo of a barmaid’s cleavage.
The picture shows the pumps for their guest ales, Joule’s Blonde, produced by Market Drayton-based Joule’s Brewery, and Butty Bach, which is made in Herefordshire by Wye Valley Brewery.
But in the background of the promotional picture is barmaid Lucy Wedge, 22, who can be seen wearing a low-cut black vest top behind the pumps from the neck down. The image was posted on social media on April 9 along with the phrase “come get a #realale from a #realwoman”.
But pub bosses at The Victoria pub in Birmingham city centre faced an angry backlash from unhappy customers complaining about the “sexual objectification” of women, with the image receiving 37 complaints online.
Regular customer Annie-Marie Hopper, 34, said: “It was a very tasteless and old-fashioned way to shamelessly promote the pub. They should be ashamed they have reduced themselves to this very blatant sexual objectification of a young lady in such a sexist manner.” The pub has since removed the snap from its Facebook account and apologised, but it is still visible on its Twitter account which has 5,506 followers.
Barmaid Lucy, who lives in Birmingham, has hit back over the issue and said the picture was not provocative and simply a way to promote two excellent ales.
She said: “It wasn’t like ‘pose by this pump with your boobs out’. I leaned in and she took the pic and to be honest I was more concerned it was going to be embarrassing as everyone would know it’s me by my tattoo.”
Owner Julian Rose-Gibbs, 40, said he was aware of the issue, but said if it had been left up to him the photo would not have been taken down.