Dublin pub's 'Welfare Wednesday' falls foul of watchdog
THE advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint against a Dublin pub that had a drinks promotion labelled Welfare Wednesday.
Lobby group Alcohol Action Ireland made the complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) against Coolock pub Liz Delaney's claiming the ad for the promotion was "irresponsible".
The controversial ad featured in the Herald last January when it was placed on the wall of the pub in January featured the Department of Social Protection's logo and offered cheap alcohol to customers on presentation of a social welfare card or bus pass.
Among the drinks promotions included were €3 pints of lager, short drinks and bottles of beer. At the time, Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton also branded the offer "irresponsible" and her Department told the pub to remove their logo.
When the controversy erupted the pub complied with the Department's request and also removed the word 'welfare' from the promotion.
But they also hit back at Ms Burton's remarks.
In a statement a spokesperson describing the Tanaiste as being "second in command" of a government that "subsidises multinational companies to the tune of €50m per year to promote the below-cost selling of alcohol in their supermarkets".
In its complaint to the ASAI about the 'Welfare Wednesday' ad, Alcohol Action Ireland claimed the pub - also known locally as The Blacker - was "exploiting, the young and immature and promoting excessive consumption".
The ASAI's report on the matter shows Liz Delaney's response to the complaint with the pub describing the drinks offer as a "value based promotion".
"They did not know how they were exploiting the young or immature, as this had not been a multi-purchases promotion," the ASAI report said.
"They also said that there were other pubs selling alcohol at cheaper prices than they were," the file read.
Liz Delaney's appealed the complaint but it was ultimately upheld by the ASAI complaints committee.
The complaint document stated that the committee were concerned that the advertisement 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 all night'.
Liz Delaney's has now been ordered not to run the drinks promotion in its current form again. Liz Delaney's could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.