A promotion by Cox’s Restaurant and Bar, Linenhall Street, Castlebar, offering three pints or bottles for €10 was found to have breached the Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society code on responsible promotion of alcohol. A complaint was made to the organisation by a member of the public about an advertisement which appeared on the Facebook page of Cox’s which stated, “Remember what REAL VALUE was? We’ve got it at Cox’s. Get any 3 Pints for €10 Or any 3 Bottles* for €10.”
The independent complaints panel of MEAS reviewed the advertisement and noted that the promotion encouraged customers to buy three pints (the equivalent of six standard drinks ) for immediate consumption on the premises for a single payment of €10. The panel also reviewed correspondence from Cox’s which stated “The offer of three drinks for a price is designed to add value to the occasion of a couple or pair of friends who are having a social drink. We did not limit this offer to a specific time frame and indeed extended it over two days with the intention of rolling it out over the full week’s duration. We believe this promotion could not be considered excessive or irresponsible on our behalf and should be deemed moderate and does not encourage the consumption of large quantities of alcohol in a single session. However we are going to cease the promotion from this date on as we don’t want to engage in any activity that might be deemed to be controversial.”
The panel considered the promotion in light of the provisions in the MEAS guidance notes. It noted that an individual patron was required to buy three pints in order to avail of the reduced price promotion, that the promotion was offered by an on-trade premises (a premises which required the consumption of the alcohol purchased to occur on the premises ), and that a minimum quantity of three pints had to be purchased by an individual consumer wishing to avail of the promotion. The panel concluded that the promotion by Cox’s Restaurant and Bar fell into the category of ‘promotions that entailed a disproportionate risk that they will lead directly to alcohol misuse’ and therefore was in breach of the MEAS Code.