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Episode #60: BrewDog Employees and CEO Drown the Beer's Reputation in Embarrassing Public Feud
Episode 6014th June 2021 • Talking Shop Podcast • Cam MacMurchy and Ewan Christie
00:00:00 00:59:37

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We've talked a lot about legal cases on the show, but this week Ewan brings our attention to other effective ways to handle disputes. Mediation can be a useful part of any dispute resolution process and help lower the temperature, especially in particularly charged cases. Ewan argues it's also a great way for companies to manage bad press as the mediation process is usually kept confidential. He shares why mediation is often a better choice and why it's not used as much as it should be.

Then Cam dives into the ugly saga of BrewDog, a popular beer brewer that hails from Scotland. Hundreds of former and current employees published an open letter blasting the company and its CEO, James Watt, for creating a toxic work environment driven by fear. The allegations are serious and could damage the brand, but maybe not as much as Watt's reply. The CEO published a hasty response to Twitter around the same time staff leaked an internal memo, exposing the contradiction in the beer brand's messages. As the old PR adage goes, when you're in a hole, stop digging! Unfortunately, Watt appears to only have a shovel. We look at each sordid twist and turn in the dispute, which is likely to give the company's leaders and investors the ultimate hangover.

In Check This Out, Ewan talks about the race to space while Cam looks at internet culture and how Gen Zers are ridiculing millennials.

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Links and Show Notes

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Ewan Christie is an employment lawyer and partner at Duntrune LLP in Toronto, Canada.

Cam MacMurchy is a corporate communications executive with a multinational technology company listed in Hong Kong and curator of the Digital Bits PR and Communications newsletter. He also contributes to Apple news website 9to5Mac and shares his thoughts on PR, media, travel, and technology on his website.