For years, Stella Artois used the slogan ‘reassuringly expensive’, and while it aims to entice the upmarket drinker, Stella Artois is, unfortunately still known to the world as the ‘wife beater’s’ choice brand because of its high alcohol content and popularity with football hooligans.
Recently, Portland Communications, were hired to improve the beer’s online reputation on behalf of its brewer, AB InBev. Operating under the username Portlander10, the company removed a reference to Stella Artois from the Wikipedia entry ‘Wife beater’, and replaced it with a general reference to beer.
The firm also made an effort to remove mentions of associations with ‘wife beater’ from Stella’s own Wikipedia page, but failed in their efforts to eliminate the mentions when the site’s users spotted the edit and reversed it.
Portland Communications is not the first lobbyist to alter its clients’ Wikipedia profiles and it most definitely won’t be the last. Although a Portland Communications spokesperson said “the changes had been made in an open manner, and within the rules set out by Wikipedia”, it will be interesting to see if Portland Communications can, in fact, alter Stella Artois’ association with ‘wife beaters’.