Dear Absolut:Editorial, Top Highlights, Latest Issue Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
It is with great displeasure that I must inform you that I cannot get your brand at many finer restaurants. I have never forgotten your leadership in supporting the LGBT community by taking out ads in gay publications in 1981. I was an out gay man attending Stanford University and partying in San Francisco at places like the Trocadero Transfer and the End Up.
My LGBT magazines in 1981 were The Advocate and After Dark. I was so gratified to see Absolut ads in the pages of each magazine; I decided right then and there that you would be my vodka brand for life. I have kept my promise, but when I dine out the ability to live up to my creed has become more difficult.
There is clearly something going on with the distribution of Absolut in finer restaurants, whether it is in my hometown of Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York. It seems more times than not, my request of an Absolut and soda is met with “we don’t carry Absolut. How about Kettle or Belvedere”? Sometimes it may even be “how about Tito’s”?
I remember during the early ‘90s when the same thing began to happen with my favorite brand of jeans, Levi’s. Levi’s had a falling out with the Gap, so the Gap discontinued carrying Levi’s. The Gap was a store that I frequented and once the change happened, I started looking at Gap jeans simply out of convenience. Sure, I was a Levi’s 501 man but it meant having to go to a department store which I frequently did. Eventually seeking out Levi’s became less a priority. “Hey, I’m already at the Gap, why don’t I look at their button fly jeans”? I looked and I bought. Suddenly, my closet had 10 percent high-end designer jeans, 50 percent Levi’s and 40 percent Gap jeans. The lesson for Levi’s? Distribution can trump brand. I began to buy Gap jeans because it was convenient; I didn’t have to go to another store.
So now my complete dedication to Absolut vodka is being challenged. I’m out at a nice restaurant and they no longer carry Absolut. Am I going to leave? Of course not. So now I simply order Kettle. It’s a shame. Kettle never did anything great for our community.
Absolut, when I gave you my heart, you promised Absolut Perfection. You need to remember that absence makes the heart go wander. Please address your nice restaurant distribution problems. I beg you.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=77917