Supporters, customers, and iStill MT members have called into question ADI's intentions and sincerity as a self-proclaimed representative to the craft distilling industry. This iStill Blog post covers Erik Owen's rebuttal. Erik is ADI's CEO, where Bill Owens, his father, owns ADI.
For more reading, please see:
First answer by Erik Owens
I just got up and missed our meeting. My apologies.
Second answer by Erik Owens
I have reached out to you repeatedly for weeks to get together and discuss this and other issues, but you cancelled on me twice last week.
I have no doubt that the people who read your blog will realize that your tone covers a series of unfair accusations that contradict themselves. For example, you accuse us of letting sponsors dictate our editorial coverage, while simultaneously stating that we refuse to give anyone preferential treatment in coverage. Similarly, you accuse us of giving you unfair treatment in our forums when you were warned repeatedly for infringing on the rules that have been clearly laid out for all suppliers several years ago, causing our readers to complain about your posts and demand our involvement.
I need to remind you that you signed a contract for title sponsorship in January and have benefited for 9 full months of presence on our platforms and advertisements in Distiller Magazine. As you have stated you are terminating your membership in ADI and that you aren't paying for services we have already delivered, we will be pulling any further advertisements and presence of iStill on our platforms immediately, and end our partnership moving forward.
Our goal at ADI is to support the craft distilling community. All of us at ADI, wish you and iStill the best, and will continue to work to bring our community unbiased exposure to the many options available to them to make their dreams a reality.
Answer by Odin
You slept in on the call we agreed to have earlier today. You, not me. So don't make this about me not being available for a discussion.
I see that you choose not to address the questions and issues raised by our supporters, customers, and the iStill Management Team in any satisfactory manner. It teaches once more that empowering the craft distilling industry is not your goal and that profiting from the industry is more important than serving it.
Not really sure how to interpret your rant about payments and benefits. It certainly misses the bigger picture of you breaching the social contract with the craft distilling industry at large: ADI is not a representative body with members, but a company that sells its services to the highest bidders. Your company owing iStill money and decent treatment is, relative to that, the smaller infringement.
Finalizing this email exchange, I want to explain you one more thing, Erik: you cannot terminate a relationship that we already ended a few weeks ago. That's not the way it works. Not in our world, but maybe in your world it does? It's a weird place already, where ADI resides, and your email only makes it less comprehensible.
Good luck at finding your north star, mate. ADI desperately needs one and the craft distilling industry sincerely deserves a better one.
Odin van Eijk, CEO
ADI has refused to answer the questions raised on their behavior and intentions in any satisfactory fashion for weeks now. One week ago, we decided to go public. We strongly feel that the negative experiences we have had with ADI in the past serve as a warning to others only when we inform them.
With Erik's rebuttal and Odin's response, we consider this discussion as ended. Others in the industry now have the knowledge to make a better judgement call on whom to do and whom not to do business with.
ADI has gotten a severe warning that it can't simply get away with misbehavior at the expense of the entire industry. We hope that they will change their attitude and composure, but doubt it. Zebra's do not change their stripes.
And that's why we will stay vigilant. Whenever new information surfaces, on ADI forsaking its responsibilities to the craft distilling industry, we'll report and take action immediately. Dubious behavior will be called out.
Please understand that the only people that have actual influence here ... are you. You, the craft distillers, that decide whom you want at your side, who you want to pay for and affiliate with, if you find yourself in need or in trouble. The greedy only fail where the needy stop giving ...
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