Sadomasochistic beer label sparks controversy in Russia

A beer bottle label that features a woman wearing a ball-gag in her mouth has sparked a row in Russia over its portrayal of “violence towards women”, prompting a state agency to run an online poll on whether or not it was appropriate.

Credit: Facebook / The Kopytov Brewery

As reported by the BBC, The Kopytov Brewery in Barnaul, a city in the Altai region of Siberia, launched its new Pryanik Imperial Stout with a label that features a close up of a woman with a ball-gag in her mouth.

The ball itself is intended to look like a traditional Russian pryanik honey cake.

The brewery announced its new beer on Instagram, calling it a craft beer that offers an “aromatic tsunami of cinnamon, clove, anise, black pepper and juniper, just like a real pryanik”.

However its provocative label has drawn criticism. Yuliya Shlyakhova, a fashion designer living in St Petersburg, complained to Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Service.

She claimed that the image “displays violence towards women, and is obscene and offensive”.

In response, the Anti-Monopoly Service chose to launch an online poll asking if the image was offensive, which yielded more than 28,000 votes.

Posting to its Facebook page, the brewery defended the label: “Brothers and sisters! It’s going crazy. People who call themselves feminists have written a statement to the Anti-Monopoly Service, claiming that the advertising of our [Pryanik] beer offends all the women of the planet. And for this, the FAS staff started voting on its official website.

“Please, kind people, go and vote, and please tell your comrades. We very much hope that common sense will prevail. Without any jokes, the whole team of our brewery is very fond of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. We are against violence in any form. We are for humor, art and adequacy.”

Ultimately, 58% agreed with Shlyakhova that the image was offensive.

Given the result of the poll, the the Service is now considering how to respond, and the brewery could face a hefty fine, reports the BBC. 

Shlyakhova meanwhile has said she hopes the debate will lead to a “discussion about tolerance of violence, women’s safety, and their rights to decide on what is permissible”.

2 Responses to “Sadomasochistic beer label sparks controversy in Russia”

  1. She is going to struggle to drink much with that in.

  2. sten dendar says:

    hahahaha violence against women what a joke

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