Athlone nightclub Genesis has been criticised by drinks watchdog MEAS (Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society ) for breaching guidelines and encouraging irresponsible drinking.
The group, which promotes the sensible consumption of alcohol, found that a promotion carried out by the nightclub, and advertised on facebook, was “in clear breach of the MEAS code on the responsible promotion of alcohol”.
Club-goers last September were enticed by a campaign on social networking site facebook promising a €20 admission fee to Genesis nightclub in return for “free drink all nite”.
The promotion was found to be in breach of the MEAS code of practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks because it could encourage “illegal, irresponsible, or immoderate consumption, such as binge-drinking, drunkenness, or drink-driving”.
The independent complaints panel noted that the MEAS guidelines state that promotions should not be run if they “encourage or reward the purchase or drinking of large quantities of alcohol in a single session”…[and] “entry fees that are linked with unlimited free drinks – eg €20 on the door and all your drinks are free”.
Following review of the Genesis promotion on facebook and correspondence from the representative of the nightclub, the panel concluded the promotion encouraged irresponsible drinking and was in clear breach of the MEAS Code.
Speaking about the decision, panel member, Dr Gordon Holmes said, “The panel noted that this type of breach has occurred on various other occasions in the past and our views on it encouraging illegal or irresponsible drinking should be well known in the industry”.
Chief executive of MEAS, Fionnuala Sheehan said, “I would encourage licensed premises to take note of the MEAS code, subscribe to it, and commit to ensuring that they promote alcohol in a socially responsible manner. I would like to thank those who bring irresponsible practices in the marketing and sale of alcohol to our attention. All complaints are dealt with in the strictest confidence and are treated seriously”.