A Hartlepool health chief has slammed a supermarket for promoting irresponsible drinking by selling a T-shirt with a boozy slogan.
Dr Peter Brambleby, Hartlepool’s interim director of public health, says the £8 football-related men’s T-shirt with the message ‘win or lose, let’s booze’ promotes irresponsible drinking and he intends to write to Asda to complain.
Asda says it is not intended to cause offence.
Dr Brambleby highlighted the shirt at a meeting of the Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board.
He said: “I don’t know what it says on the other side but it might as well say let’s neglect the kids, let’s vomit in the street, let’s start a fight, because that’s what that means.
“So there will be a letter going to the head office of this supermarket saying please don’t promote irresponsible drinking.
“It’s working against everything we are trying to do as a health and wellbeing board in Hartlepool.”
The letter, also signed by Colin Shevills, director of North East alcohol group Balance, says: “The board had recently put the issue of drugs and alcohol at the top of its priority list for attention, given the rising trend and serious adverse impact on health and wellbeing, the local economy, anti social behaviour and domestic harm.”
It questions Asda’s commitment to the Drinkaware information scheme adding: “This T-shirt, which actively promotes heavy drinking and links it to sport cannot claim to support responsible drinking or responsible alcohol retailing.”
Director of Balance Colin Shevills said: “The World Cup will be watched by millions of children and young people who will be exposed to numerous alcohol adverts. What message is this sending to children?”
Mr Shevills said high alcohol consumption costs the North East around £1.1bn a year in hospital admissions, crime and disorder, and sickness and absenteeism.
He added: “Alcohol – and especially binge drinking – causes chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease, as well as seven types of cancer including the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, and bowel. This is not a warning you will see on this T-shirt, nor on any beer, wine or spirits sold in the UK, despite calls for major alcohol producers to include health information on their products.”
Asda said: “Our aim is to make clothes people love, never to offend.”