Asda has removed a T-shirt with a boozy slogan from stores after a Hartlepool health chief complained it promoted irresponsible drinking.
Dr Peter Brambleby, Hartlepool’s interim director of public health, and North East alcohol group Balance, wrote to the retailer to complain about the ‘win or lose let’s booze’ football related T-shirt, as reported by the Mail.
Asda’s chief executive Roger Burnley has replied saying it was a ‘lapse in judgement’ and have strengthened their procedures so it, and others like it, are not sold in future.
Welcoming the move, Dr Brambleby said: “This is a great result from Asda. Hartlepool’s Health and Wellbeing Board members will be delighted to see that Asda has withdrawn the T-shirt from all its stores, strengthened its compliance process for clothing and re-asserted its commitment to responsible drinking. The World Cup is for everyone to enjoy, so let’s not let drinking to excess spoil it for anyone.”
The £8 shirt had been on display just inside the entrance of the Marina Way store.
In the letter, also signed by Balance director Colin Shevills, they said it was near to the alcohol aisle and would be seen by children.
They added it went against the board’s efforts to address the effects of drugs and alcohol and said it came at a time when police are carrying out World Cup domestic abuse and drink drive campaigns.
Mr Burnley said in the letter: “After reviewing your complaint, we have decided that this T-shirt was not in line with our status as a responsible retailer, and on June 28 we removed this T-shirt from sale.
“Since your letter we have strengthened our compliance process for clothing so that we can be sure this type of merchandise does not appear in our stores again.”
He added Asda has a long and successful partnership with Drinkaware including providing advice and information to shoppers to help them cut back after Christmas.
Colin Shevills of Balance also welcomed the decision but said it hopes Asda introduces minimum alcohol unit pricing and displays drinking guidelines on shelves.
He said: “Although an encouraging response, we question whether a partnership with industry-funded Drinkaware is enough when alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices, with supermarket beer being 188% more affordable today than it was in 1987.”