The Epic beer brand had pride of place on Campbell Live this week with an item extolling the virtues of the beer and its improved sales in the face of the economic downturn. “Packs a punch”, noted the Campbell Live reporter approvingly.

Separately, John Campbell promoted free tickets to the Munich Oktoberfest as a part of a competition for the New Zealand Beer Festival – whose other major sponsor is Liquorland.

The details for the competition listed TV3 owner MediaWorks as a promoter for the competition.

We wondered if the two matters were connected, but TV3 news and current affairs director Mark Jennings said they were not.

Executive producer Carol Hirschfeld says she was indeed told to put “promoter” on the website by TV3 legal counsel Clare Bradley.

“In essence I suppose we are promoting a competition to our viewers for a trip to the German beer festival but we are not promoting any beer brand or liquor company.

“I’m not sure what the issue is here … from what I understand, you think it is a problem that the competition followed a story on a boutique brewery? This was basically coincidental.”

We wondered if the advertising folk had any role in the line-up.

“The sales department have not had and never do have any input into these things.

“Organisers of the competition had rung us [with the idea for the Epic story] and Carol agreed. The competition was already running,” Jennings said.

TV3 marketing boss Roger Beaumont said Campbell had presented other competitions on air in the past.

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Campbell Live TV3, Epic Beer Interview & Brewery Tour

Epic Beer’s hoppy brew an economic success

Mr Nicholas cannot compete with the big-boys financially but is determined to remain independent.

He does not think the major brewers could afford him anyway.

“Probably not because I think any of the big brewers that would look for acquisition, would look at how much it would cost to make Epic and how much I have to spend on hops to get that flavour and go ‘that’s insane’.”

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