Marketing Guatemalan products to Mexicans can be like selling Zion-branded bacon to the citizens of Tehran at the best of times. So perhaps one can just about sympathise with the brand manager who recently took the daring decision to do this...
It probably won't assuage indignant Chapines to know that the Castillo family, makers of the 'national' heirloom brew are descended from Bernal Díaz de Castillo , who had an important chunk of Mexican history behind him before ending up as Antigua's alcalde.
Nor will they take much comfort from the fact that Pollo Campero also tries to pass itself off as an indigenous Mexican fast food chain...at least the one in Tapachula, Chiapas does.
Alternative re-renderings of the Gallo brand have been suggested on Facebook and other social media platforms in order to coax it back from the edge of suicide...
In a sense Mexicanising Gallo has been just a logical expansionist step after the more granular approach represented by the regionally-flattering varieties already introduced. (I mean, surely there's a Guatemalan Quiko...or two?)
But of course this is the time of year in which the nationalistic sentiments of many Chapines are naturally emboldened. And it's just that an unfortunate historical coincidence means that there is a similar opportunity to target lager-swilling patriots across the northern border, which the makers of 'nuestra cerveza' clearly fancied a tilt at.
And perhaps the real problem here is that the Castillo company has decided to sell their twelve packs for a lot less than they can typically be purchased for down here...69 pinche pesos!
This furore takes me back to the days when I was tasked with explaining the interwebs to a collection of wine-soaked old school marketeers and PR practioners in the mid-90s.
I recall the look of horror one adopted when he finally grasped the fact that the days of geographically-compartmentalised communications were coming to an end. He was soon taking us a trip down memory lane recounting the syrupy tale of a small crisis he had helped contain – the Danes had discovered that Head & Shoulders shampoo made your hair fall out, but thanks to his sterling efforts nobody else outside Denmark was any the wiser!
Meanwhile here in Guatemala calls for a Gallo boycott may yet gather momentum. One doubts whether it could be sustained in a market with only two major brands, but the Brahva social media marketing team should be fired if they don't take full advantage!
Meanwhile here is a handy guide to 100% Chapin products which may still be purchased with a clean conscience...
16th September Update: This just in...