Four franchises of Centra, an Irish super market, have been ordered to withdraw a promotion offering cheap alcohol as part of a deal for ‘children’s allowance day’.
Children’s allowance day is the day of the month that low income families receive their Child Benefit. The A4 leaflets contained the heading ‘Children’s Allowance Day Deals’, and encouraged customers to “make your money last” with offers for bacon, Jaffa Cakes, crisps and cabbage on the front. On the back of the leaflet, there are more offers including for fig rolls, French stick bread, water and cut-price beer, including a crate of 20 bottles of Miller for just €15 and two crates of Budweiser for €25.
Fiona Ryan, Director of Alcohol Action Ireland said that when 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.
A Centra spokesman said the promotion was not part of a national marketing plan. “Centra fully understands that the abuse of alcohol is a serious issue in Irish society and apologizes 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,” quotes The Independent.
Ms Ryan of Alcohol Action Ireland, pointed out that the Government is currently examining whether to commence legislation governing the display and sale of alcohol in retail outlets, in particular its separation from food and other every-day household items. “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,” said Ms Ryan.