Centra pulls ‘Children’s Allowance Day Deals’ which include beer

From the Irish Independent

THE CENTRA supermarket chain has ordered the withdrawal of a ’Children’s Allowance Day Deals’ promotion that includes alcohol at discount prices.

Four Centra stores – in Cabra, Fairview, Wicklow and Offaly – produced the flyers offering a variety of products including cheese, biscuits, pizza and beer.

A case of 20 bottles of Miller beer for €15 and two cases of Budweiser for €25 were included in the offer.

Fiona Ryan of Alcohol Action Ireland criticised the move and Barnardos chief Fergus Finlay said it was insulting to parents trying to provide for their families.

Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power said she was “genuinely shocked” by the campaign: “Retailers have a duty to ensure alcohol is marketed in a responsible fashion. Chidren’s allowance is specifically provided to parents to help feed and clothe their kids.

“Centra’s cynical promotion is insulting to parents who are struggling to pay for the basics and certainly won’t be spending their money on beer,” she said.

Centra, owned by the Cork-based Musgrave group, said it had instructed the stores involved to withdraw the promotion.

In a statement, Centra said the promotion is not part of a national marketing plan or promotional strategy.

“Centra fully understands that the abuse of alcohol is a serious issue in Irish society and apologises for the promotion, which although isolated to four stores, is contrary to Centra’s belief that retailers have a critical role to play in ensuring that alcohol is promoted and sold responsibly,” it said.

The firm said its 462 retailers across the country have been reminded to follow strict guidelines which are in place regarding the responsible promotion of alcohol. “The promotion undermines our genuine commitment to take our social responsibilities regarding alcohol extremely seriously.”