Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Ministers condemn alcohol promotion

Centra distributed flyers offering cheap alcohol as part of a special deal for children's allowance day

A controversial shop promotion offering cheap alcohol for children's allowance day has been condemned by Government ministers.

Four Centra stores were ordered to withdraw the "cynical" offers after politicians and children's groups raised concerns.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the inclusion of beer on the leaflet was irresponsible and reprehensible.

"It suggests that some retailers are more concerned with boosting their turnover and profits than selling alcohol responsibly," said Mr Shatter.

"I am also shocked at the suggestion that allowances paid by the State for the benefit of children should be targeted in such a cynical manner by the retailers concerned."

Joan Burton, Social Protection Minister, said child benefit is for the benefit of children.

"Targeted promotions of cheap alcohol are inappropriate where they divert badly needed funds from children and families," she added.

The Centra shops in Fairview and East Wall in north Dublin, Kilcoole in Wicklow and Tullamore in Offaly distributed flyers headlined "Children's Allowance Day Deals" and featuring a range of price promotions, including a three-day deal on bottles of Miller and Budweiser.

Centra said the promotion was not part of a national marketing plan, adding the four franchised stores were immediately ordered to withdraw it.

"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," said a spokesman.