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Centra apologises and withdraws 'Children's Allowance Day' beer offer

The company said it was withdrawing the leaflet from four shops which were distributing it, encouraging customers to use their Children’s Allowance payment to buy beer and other products.

CENTRA HAS APOLOGISED and said that it is withdrawing its controversial promotional leaflet advertising  beer offers as part of its ‘Children’s Allowance Day Deals’.

The company said in a statement that it has instructed the retailers who had been distributing the leaflet, two in Dublin and one each in Wicklow and Offaly, to withdraw the promotion immediately.

It follows heavy criticism from retail groups, alcohol awareness groups, politicians and customers for the distribution of a leaflet entitled ‘Children’s Allowance Day Deals’ which contained offers for crates of Miller and Budweiser beer among other groceries.

In a statement the company said: “Centra takes the sale and promotion of alcohol extremely seriously and has instructed the Centra retailers concerned to immediately withdraw the promotion.”

The promotion had been running in four Centra stores in Leinster including Courtney’s Centra shops in East Wall and Fairview in north Dublin, Aherne’s Centra in Kilcoole, Co Wicklow and Leavy’s Centra in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Centra apologises and withdraws 'Children's Allowance Day' beer offer
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  • Centra leaflet

  • Centra leaflet

The company, owned by Musgrave, said that the promotion was not part of a national marketing plan or promotional strategy and apologised for the promotion which is said was contrary “Centra’s belief that retailers have a critical role to play in ensuring that alcohol is promoted and sold responsibly”.

The four Centra retailers own and operate their stories independently but the company said that occasionally it carries out local marketing activity independently of national advertising and marketing strategies.

“Centra is today reminding all of its 462 retailers across the country to follow strict guidelines which are in place regarding the responsible promotion of alcohol,” the statement said.

It added: “The promotion undermines our genuine commitment to take our social responsibilities regarding alcohol extremely seriously.”

Details of the promotional leaflet first emerged on Twitter last night and have led to criticism from a number of interest groups including Retail Excellence Ireland, Alcohol Action Ireland and Barnardos whose chief executive said the leaflet was “disgusting”.

Politicians including Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power and Fine Gael TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee Regina Doherty were also critical of the promotion.

Read: Centra shops criticised for ‘disgraceful’ Children’s Allowance Day beer offers

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Hugh O'Connell

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