Can mass collaboration save our beloved Pabst Blue Ribbon?

At the beginning of November, news sources reported that Pabst (maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the official beer of our little honky-tonk band) was up for sale. Apparently, Pabst is owned by a non-profit foundation and the IRS has been trying to get the foundation to sell it for years.

Problem is, last time Pabst was on the market in 2005 there were no buyers, and the IRS gave them a reprieve until 2010 before they had to try again.

The selling price? $300 million. Which doesn’t sound too bad until you hear that Pabst doesn’t even have any breweries– the last one closed in 2001. They are now essentially a marketing vehicle for a bunch of beer brands, including PBR, but also Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, Stroh’s and about 25-30 others (check out the full list here).

Well now two enterprising advertising agencies have banded together to see if they can create a mass collaboration movement to buy Pabst. They’ve created a website called Buy A Beer Company where you can actually pitch in to purchase a piece of Pabst for yourself. Once they get to $300 million in crowd-sourced funds, they make a formal offer to buy the company.

Sound like a marketing stunt? It is… but it has only been going on for two weeks, and they have already raised almost $10 million!

That’s pretty impressive for a stunt.

Who knows were this will lead? Perhaps a rival crowd-sourced movement will appear and make an aggressive counter-offer? Or maybe some rich investor will swoop in and buy Pabst, the two ad agencies, and their list of donors all at one time. One way or another, it’ll be interesting to watch what happens next. If you want to stay tuned in, you can follow the Buy a Beer Company Twitter feed here.

About Chris Grams

Chris Grams is Head of Marketing at Tidelift. He is also the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World.



  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Can mass collaboration save our beloved Pabst Blue Ribbon? « Dark Matter Matters -- - November 23, 2009

  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments - November 23, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Hey, I Wrote a Book!

The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World

Available now in print and electronic versions.

%d bloggers like this: