I have been a long campaigner against some of the more dubious tactics of the drinks industry in general which are designed as far as I am concerned only to increase consumption and to ensure continuing profits. The ‘vested interests’ in my view are just focussed on selling as much alcohol as possible. They ‘use’ pithy messages to appear to care such as ‘Enjoy alcohol responsibly’. Meanwhile society is suffering badly from our national problem. Everyone sees the awful effects of excess drinking on our streets. Violent random assaults, and vomit, and other human waste, in public areas, are common. People are afraid to go out in some areas and at some times. Individuals and family members suffer horribly from alcohol related harm and all the catastrophic consequences of alcohol dependence. Anxiety, depression and other mental health problems as well as the tragedy of attempted suicide and suicide are often caused by alcohol. A myriad of physical problems result including everything from skin rashes and hypertension to liver problems and cancer. In short our relationship with alcohol causes terrible, ongoing trauma for many people in Ireland.
So ——- even I was shocked to hear, in various media reports, that one alcohol outlet recently advertised for people to come to “Messy Monday” for cheap drink and “serious craic and sensible shifting”!!. As Mc’Enroe famously said ‘You cannot be serious’. I thought there were strict regulations against this sort of thing. My understanding is that advertisements are not permitted to link ‘alcohol with sexual success’ according to advertising standards in Ireland. Are promotions exempt from such guidelines? Now I can already hear some people saying before I finish this note ‘but people can make up their own minds’, well yes of course they can and they don’t have to go out to such nights but folk are looking for a cheap night out these days and all drink outlets should behave responsibly (sic) as the most vulnerable are most at risk. Though it has to be said that everyone can be crushed by heaving crowds.
Someone please define ‘sensible shifting’ and then responsible marketing!
I sincerely hope that this latest incident will be investigated thoroughly by the appropriate authorities, criticised in all quarters and that such irresponsible advertising will not be allowed in future. Deaths and more serious injuries will happen if action is not taken.