Thursday, August 29, 2002

And still more news from Boston: A local icon is in trouble.

Jim Koch's reedy voice has been a fixture of Boston radio ads for years, touting the quality of the ingredients in his company's Sam Adams brews. But trips across the German countryside searching the fields for the very best hops aren't exactly what appeal to the young, sharp-dressing, party-going set which buys a lot of beer, so his ad execs have been trying to give the brand a new, sharper, more radical image in the worst way possible.

Which they achieved, by making the company a semi-official sponsor, for three straight years, of the "Sex for Sam" competition on the Opie and Anthony radio show, in which couples were enlisted to have sex in public and embarrassing locations, in return for beer and concert tickets.

Is this starting to sound familiar?

Koch was actually in the studio when Opie and Anthony broadcast the segment that got them fired, in which two "sex for Sam" contestants did, well, something indecent in Saint Patrick's Cathedral (they claim they were faking it), despite which he has been trying to spin out apologies which disclaim any knowledge of the nature of the contest.

Meanwhile, back home in Boston, the local bartenders are of the opinion that the Catholic church is suffering enough indignities right now that they shouldn't have more gratuitously heaped on them, which is leading to a sharp, radical boycott, at least until Koch issues an apology which someone might believe.


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