Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but straight up stealing, on the other hand, is wrong – and with everyone on the hunt for the next big idea, people are learning just how easy it is for their intellectual and creative property to get snatched. We’ve seen this form of cheating countless times in the fashion industry, designers poaching the ideas of unknown creatives, and now people have accused a company in the brewing industry of following the trend. BrewDog is a $2 billion company that began as a small hipster passion project but has become one of the fastest-growing food and drinks producers in Great Britain and now they have been accused of stealing marketing strategies through fake job interviews with professionals.

Billion dollar Scottish beer company BrewDog has been under fire for allegedly stealing marketing ideas through fake interviews

Image credits: BrewDogJames

Trouble began to brew after the company released its non-alcoholic Punk IPA, which Manifest marketing agency boss Alex Myers said on Twitter was their creative concept

Image credits: AlexMyers

BrewDog founder James Watt responded to the tweet writing, “Hey Alex! Manifest, did the work on left for us (whilst under retainer), we did the work on the right with a different agency. Not really the same.” Myers continued to back his claim to PRWeek and said BrewDog had rejected the ‘Punk AF strategic marketing idea.’ “There’s no animosity from my perspective with BrewDog, but at the same time I feel it is important that the leaders of our businesses in our industry don’t fall silent when creative marketing campaign ideas are being used without credit,” Myers told the outlet, “At the end of the day creative is our currency. It wasn’t an emotional angry thing from my point of view – I was expecting it – it was more about pointing it out. There needs to be that radical candor.”

The complaint from Manifest was only the start of the claims and other people began to chime in with their own  similar experiences from BrewDog

Image credits: jennyfrankart

Image credits: jennyfrankart

Image credits: jennyfrankart

Some described bids for job interviews where none of the companies got the job and BrewDog just took the ideas

Image credits: tommortonjarvis

Image credits: wybe

Image credits: andsmithdesign

One of the strategists posted a sample of what they say was the interview process form

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Along with communication between her and the company where they denied her claims

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And more screenshots were posted

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One of the owners of BrewDog dismissed the claims with a post of the invoice and wrote it off as words from an unsuccessful candidate

Image credits: : BrewDogJames

To which she responded with, what appeared to be, an uncropped version of the same document

Image credits: jennyfrankart

In response to the numerous allegations the company shared the following statement with Bored Panda:

“Over the last couple of days, social media has gone a bit wild over a couple of disconnected incidents, both of which have morphed into much wider debates beyond our business.

Firstly, we worked together with Manifest for several years right from the early days. We have now talked about the matter amicably and I am pleased that there is no longer any issue here.

Secondly, we have honored our commitment to refund the cost of flights for a candidate we interviewed for a role but we remain steadfast in our position that we do not pay job applicants for their time whilst they apply for a job at our business.

Hopefully, everyone can now get back to watching cat memes on social media. And we’ll get back to making world-class craft beers.

James Watt, Co-Founder and Captain, BrewDog.”

People in the comments continued to share mixed sentiments on the brewery

Idea-mining is not the only creative hot water the company has found itself in. In the past two years, BrewDog has been embroiled in multiple trademark disputes. The company went after brother-and-sister pub owners, Joshua and Sallie McFadyen, who run the Wolf pub in Birmingham, over their original plan to name the place the Lone Wolf. The corporation then gave them a legal warning on the grounds that they had a beer with the same name. After ample backlash, BrewDog eventually backed down. In 2017 they threatened another lawsuit against music promoter Tony Green, who wanted to open a bar in Leeds called Draft Punk – a nod to the band. In the letter, seen by the Guardian, BrewDog stated that it had “well-established beer under the name of punk”, the company’s Punk IPA beer, which it has been brewing since 2007 and mentioned its “Equity for Punks” scheme. A disappointed Green eventually decided to back down.