Utah Ad Company Says Beer and Marriage Have Limits

NEW YORK — There will be a lot of advertising and brand merchandising at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City this February. However, one ad may not be seen because it strikes particularly close to home for Utah’s founding fathers.

Reagan Outdoor Advertising, a local billboard company, has decided not to rent space to Wasatch Beers to promote its Polygamy Porter, whose label pictures a man with several women and boldly declares “Why have just one!” The billboard ad for the microbrew suggested that consumers “Take some home for the wives.”

Greg Schirf, owner of Park City-based Watsatch Beers and Brew Pub, has always relied on abrasive tags, having previously touted his products in the largely populated Mormon state as “Utah’s other local religion” while advising drinkers to “Baptize your taste buds.”

Polygamy was officially banned in Utah more than a century ago as a condition for obtaining statehood. Residents still regard that as a sensitive topic they would prefer not to rehash, particularly under the worldwide spotlight of the Olympics.

It was not known whether the ad space will be rented to Schaefer, which used to promote its beer as the one to have “when you’re having more than one.”