Bargain booze posters land shop in hot water

From the Bray People


Wednesday July 11 2012

A CENTRA SHOP in Kilcoole which was ordered to pull advertisements offering low price alcohol to Child Benefit recipients won’t be sanctioned any further.

Aherne’s Shop was one of four outlets who distributed flyers which featured a range of promotions and special deals, including a three-day deal on bottles of Miller and Budweiser. A case of Miller beer was promoted for €15, or 75 cents a bottle, while two cases of Budweiser beer were on offer for €25.

The controversial offer was condemned by various child charities and other voluntary organisations.

The shops were ordered to remove the advertisements by Centra’s Head Office. The adds were not part of a national Centra campaign. They have apologised for the promotion, describing it as ‘contrary to Centra’s belief that retailers have a critical role to play in ensuring that alcohol is promoted and sold responsibly’.

In a statement a Centra spokesperson said, ‘ We support current Government efforts to address the alcohol problem including the setting of a minimum price for the sale of alcohol. We also believe that the RRAI code should be put on a statutory footing and that stronger penalties should be in place for the sale of alcohol to minors and breaches of licensing laws, including the loss of license for retailers.’

The stores involved won’t be sanctioned by the Musgrave Group which owns Centra nor by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland.

Fiona Ryan, Director of Alcohol Ireland, was highly critical of the original promotion.

‘Considering one in 11 children in Ireland are living with a parent with problematic alcohol use then any link between parenting and buying cut price alcohol is totally irresponsible – it doesn’t serve the retailer or the family well.’

The Government is currently examining whether to commence legislation governing the display and sale of alcohol in retail units. Ms Ryan believes stricter regulations are now a necessity.

‘Promotions like this underline the need for tighter regulation. If we continue to sell alcohol like a grocery in supermarkets and not treat it as a licensed product, then in one way I’m not surprised a retailer would put alcohol in with groceries like this.’