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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Welfare Wednesday pub ad could encourage 'immoderate or irresponsible drinking'
Charity Alcohol Action Ireland made a complaint to advertising watchdog the ASAI.

A PUB IN north Dublin thrust briefly into the national spotlight back in January due to an ill-thought-out promotional poster has been criticised by advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.

As you’ll no doubt recall, the poster at Liz Delaney’s in Coolock featured the logo of the Department of Social Protection, and offered several beers and spirits for the knock-down price of €3. It said the cheap drinks were available on “presentation of a social welfare card or bus pass all day and all night every Wednesday”.

The charity Alcohol Action Ireland made a complaint – saying it considered the poster was “socially irresponsible” and aimed at “exploiting, the young and immature and promoting excessive consumption”.

According to the ASAI, the pub responded by saying that due to the “ever increasing competition in their industry they had been running a value based promotion”.

They did not understand how they were exploiting the young or immature, as this had not been a multiple purchases promotion. They also said that there were other pubs selling alcohol at cheaper prices than they were.

In its conclusion, the advertising body said it was concerned the poster “had been directed at a potentially vulnerable group in society”.

“They were also concerned that there was no limit on the amount of drink available at the promotional price given the reference to ‘all day and night’.

In the circumstances they did not consider that the promotion had been prepared with a sense of responsibility to society. In addition, they considered that it could encourage immoderate or irresponsible drinking.

The promotion, the ASAI said, shouldn’t run again in its current form.

Speaking in the wake of the initial controversy earlier this year, the pub’s owner, Gary Payne, said they were wrong to use the word ‘welfare’.

It was specific value promotion for those who were short on disposable income, obviously those on social welfare are short on disposable income and we were just trying to give them some outlet to a normal social activity of going to the pub and having a couple of pints.

Reacting to comments made by Tánaiste Joan Burton that they had acted irresponsibly, Payne admitted that it was a mistake to use that wording, but criticised the Government for subsidising the low cost of alcohol in supermarkets.

Read: ‘Welfare Wednesday’ pub: ‘We are in a high unemployment area and didn’t want to exclude locals’>

Poll: Do you think the ‘Welfare Wednesday’ drinks promo is irresponsible?>

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