I'm not calling anyone a rube or implying that people aren't capable of making decisions for themselves. I also am not saying other companies don't use marketing.
Are you saying that marketing has no affect? because that seems just as specious to me.
the idea that consumer desire is the only driver of change in any industry is also specious. particularly in an industry that is more or less saturated with beer.
Regardless, I think this is an argument of philosophy and unlikely to be resolved. I'm going to bow out of the discussion. Time will tell if the ABI acquisitions maintain the level of quality and flavor that their fans have come to expect or not.