I'm delighted to have so many new comments on the blog and, at the risk of blowing my new-found popularity (which is still bemusing me, I've never had so much feedback on one article!), I've been thinking about how to further explain why it's pointless 'marketing' beer at women when education is the way forward.
What prompted this train of thought is that I was talking to a mate the other day - in the run-up to Valentine's Day - and he was asking me for help buying his Mrs some underwear.
Now, after I'd cleared up that he wasn't expecting me to model it or such like, I started giving him some advice and I suddenly realised what was perfectly normal to me was in fact double Dutch and daunting to another section of society - because of a total lack of education!
I'm not saying he was thick- quite the contrary, actually, he's annoyingly intelligent - but when has anyone sat the average bloke down and said: "Look, this is what 38 means and this is what C means - but I'm only that size in these brands and in those brands I take a size bigger/smaller or I hate this type/colour/make - oh and don't forget the matching pants!"
Correct me if I'm straying into presumptuous territory here but I don't think it happens very often or my mates wouldn't be ringing me and John Lewis and Selfridges wouldn't have been running underwear masterclasses for fellas at Christmas!
Honest to god, I've seen the question 'what cup and back size is she sir?' bring blokes out in a cold sweat and who can blame them?
And it's the same terrified expression that I've come across when women are similarly panicked by the question 'do you want a beer or an ale?' because no one has ever told them that the damn things were different.
I imagine the thought process goes something like this:
Internal voice:"Isn't beer ale? Or is ale beer or... oh bugger it"
Externally: "I'll have a glass of wine please."
Back to the lingerie section and, if the shop assistant is feeling particularly sadistic, they could start saying: "Is sir looking for a balconette, or is madam a full cup kind of girl? And would you like matching briefs, bikinis-style briefs, g-string, shorts or French knickers to match?"
Which is kind of the underwear equivalent of saying: "What beer would you like? A hoppy beer - like a classic bitter or would you like something with more zing like an IPA? Or do you want a malty one? Porter, mild, ESB?"
It all comes down to the flow of information and, frankly, that's where the beer market as a whole and the cask market in general get let down.
On either subject the issue of support has a tendency to be key - so let's demand a little bit more of it!
BTW if any blokes reading this need advice, please don't message me - follow this link! http://www.signonsandiego.com/entertainment/street/2007/12/fashion_a_mans_guide_to_linger.html