Matt Eley: Tesco - not 'every little' deal helps

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stella artois, Tesco

The latest industry attempt to tackle problem drinking kicked-off this week with the launch of the Campaign for Smarter Drinking. Essentially this...

The latest industry attempt to tackle problem drinking kicked-off this week with the launch of the Campaign for Smarter Drinking.

Essentially this is a £100m marketing project which will see beermats distributed to pubs and posters put up across the country urging 18-24 year-olds to evaluate their drinking habits.

It remains to be seen how effective that will be but it is laudable none the less that more than 60 or so companies and organisations from the on and off-trades have come together for the campaign.

That said, it got off to a slightly inauspicious start when the campaign slogan 'why let the good times go bad' appeared next to a Tesco ad in a national paper this week.

Tesco are fully signed up members and make a lot of noises about responsible retailing so it strikes me as more than a little disingenuous that they would seek to get away with promoting the campaign alongside one of their typical special booze deals.

The advert in question tells potential shoppers that after spending £30 on general goods they can get a stash of booze for an extra fiver.

And that stash could be 15 cans of Strongbow, or 18 bottles of Stella Artois or Beck's.

That's an awful lot of alcohol for an extra five quid and again shows that the true root of drink-related problems in this country stem from the off-trade and not pubs.

I mean, could you imagine the outcry if pubs ran a similar meal deal - pay £30 on food and for an extra £5 you can have nine pints of premium lager or 11 pints of cider?

Of course not and this is exactly the sort of thing the government wants to legislate against with its ill-advised mandatory code of practice.

But while pubs will feel the full force of this crackdown supermarkets will continue to get away with selling alcohol at rock bottom prices leading to more pre-loading and licensees having to pick up the pieces later in the night.

A Home Office suit recently said there is not enough evidence that pre-loading causes drink-related problems.

I would suggest the government takes a closer look at the drinking habits of youngsters, but maybe they could start by just reading a newspaper.

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more