Apparently, despite the efforts of Stonch, UK pub sales are dipping and people are trying to figure out what to do about it. One of those people is Mark Hastings, Director of Communications at the British Beer and Pub Association, discusses the risks and opportunities associated with grocery sales, food, pub quizzes and live entertainment in this article. Those things seem to make sensible sense but then he appears to go all speaky-to-the-young-folks on us:
...rising supermarket sales are also the result of changing dynamics in the market. "It's broader than just the ability to buy your beer from a supermarket," Hastings said. "There are lots of things for people to do in their homes now that make the home an attractive place in which to socialize," he said, citing social networking sites such as Facebook and computer games as factors that deter people from going to the pub. "The pub is the original Facebook, isn't it?" he said, adding that owners should market themselves as a social networking site where customers meet a wide range of people, rather than just sit "with a can of beer in front of a computer screen".Yikeedoodles! What a bad message to put into the media. Facebook exactly is about sitting with a can of beer in front of a screen - avoiding human contact though immersing oneself in a replica of human contact. Selling pubs with a message like that is just giving up. It's like saying a family is like being single, working is like a holiday.
Face it. A good pub is a secular congregationalist church. Sell that, marketers.