Tuesday 26 September 2017

Eilis O'Hanlon: Sponsorship ban is just an empty gesture

Government is taking a symbolic kick at an easy target instead of tackling the real problem, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

People who drink rum are more likely to enjoy jazz. "Studies show", so it must be true. Similar studies show that wine drinkers are better educated than beer drinkers. As a wine drinker, naturally I choose to believe that one. Gay people also drink more gin. Don't scoff. This has all been scientifically tested. Presumably on gay guinea pigs in labs.

Coincidentally, or possibly not so coincidentally, one of the sponsors of the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is Bombay Sapphire, which I am reliably informed by a (straight) gin-drinking acquaintance is the closest to gin heaven it's possible to get without dying first. Did the Bombay Sapphire folks hit on backing the theatre as the best way to reel in potential new gay customers? Kudos for smart thinking if they did.

That still wouldn't explain why Guinness sponsors the Cork Jazz Festival, though. Optimum marketing strategy surely suggests it should be Captain Morgan. . . These are just some of the contradictions that seemed to be bothering Leo Varadkar last week as details emerged of the proposed ban on alcohol sponsorship of major sporting events, first championed by former junior minister Roisin Shortall and now picked up by her successor in the Department of Health, Alex White.

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