Sunday, April 05, 2009

It's interesting that this thread has been up all weekend and not had any response.

CGA stats are one thing but has any one else noticed that BBPA has NO presence on these trade forums other than what is being reported about them? Why not? Because BBPA cannot afford to get into a direct discussion with licensees about what really is going on - at any level. They do NOT represent licensees in the free trade in any measure. They do NOT represent licensees in the tied trade either. They represent the interests of pubcos primarily and, to a far diminished extent, big brewers but only in so much as brewers HAVE to keep their output up by supplying pubcos for fear of losing their business. Brewers don't say Boo to a Goose in public about their relationships with pubcos, the free trade or any of their distribution deals let alone anything about what they could offer to individual licensees if they were free of tie. Brewers cannot afford to risk being de-listed by pubcos and- so - do not get involved in the wider debate about the state of the industry. Pubco dominance in the pub industry has created a situation where there is no accurate objective analysis of the trade. This leads to the situation where no one in the trade is responsible for any of the serious problems the trade is experiencing and the government is accused of being the source of all the trade's ills. This is patent nonsense.

The industry's failures are all therefore all externalised and we aren't to blame. "It's all THEIR" fault - that is the government. Palpable rubbish.

BBPA is always there, all over the trade and wider media, always with a very precise point of view, with a string of stats supporting their perennial assertion that the tied trade is more secure than free of tie.

Why do they say that? Does BBPA have something AGAINST the free trade? What they are saying is that the free trade is worse off than the tied trade. This sounds ok cursorily but on second thoughts is a ridiculous notion. HOW can the free trade be worse off considering they pay similar or lower rent than tied and pay half for their products - products they can actually choose for themselves and customers.

Anyhow you can take all these figures about closures with a large unhealthy pinch of salt. They are a wildly inaccurate snapshots of an industry in desperate need of being taken into intensive care. What is going on in this industry is directly analogous with the banking crisis we're now so familiar with. Only this a is deeper, dirtier and darker situation to sort out...

Just think about churn and the number of pubs that NEVER appear to close but have a continual round robin of new licensees losing their shirts. Let's look at TWA and business Failure Tracker stats I'd say.

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