Wednesday 22 November 2017

Centra won’t take action after Children’s Allowance beer blunder

Edel O'Connell

THE Centra stores that targeted Child Benefit recipients with offers of low-price alcohol won't be sanctioned for what the parent company described as an "error".

The four outlets ran a promotion offering a range of food and beer, linking it to yesterday's receipt of the Children's Allowance.

They were ordered to remove the advertisements yesterday as Centra apologised for the blunder.

But the stores will not be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, nor will they be sanctioned by Musgrave Group, which owns Centra.

The Centra shops involved were in Fairview and East Wall in north Dublin, Kilcoole in Wicklow, and Tullamore in Offaly.

They 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. A case of Miller beer was promoted for €15, or 75 cents a bottle, while two cases of Budweiser beer were on offer for €25.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland said it had not received any official complaints yesterday afternoon, and therefore would not be taking any action.

The parent company said stores occasionally carried out local marketing activity independent of national advertising strategies.

None of the individual stores could be contacted for comment last night.

Edel Clancy, director of communications with Musgrave Group, said it was "unfortunate" that four of the Centra stores ran with the promotion, which she described as an "error".

Centra said the promotion was not part of a national marketing plan or promotional strategy.

"Centra fully understands that the abuse of alcohol is a serious issue in Irish society and apologises for the promotion," it stated.

Children's charity Barnardos said it was shocked by the promotion, while Justice Minister Alan Shatter said that the inclusion of such products was "irresponsible and reprehensible".

Irish Independent

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