Health chiefs welcome Asda ditching ‘booze’ T-shirt

The t-shirt on sale in Asda
The t-shirt on sale in Asda

Public health experts have welcomed supermarket giant Asda removing a T-shirt with a boozy slogan from its stores.

The move follows complaints from North East alcohol group Balance and Dr Peter Brambleby, Hartlepool Town Council’s, interim director of public health about the ‘win or lose let’s booze’ football related T-shirt.

Colin Shevills of Balance.

Colin Shevills of Balance.

Both believe the slogan promoted irresponsible drinking and they contacted the firm with their concerns

The shirts were on sale for £8.

Asda’s chief executive Roger Burnley has replied saying it was a ‘lapse in judgement’ and has strengthened its procedures so it, and others like it, are not sold in future.

Mr Burnley said in the letter: “After reviewing your complaints, 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, director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “We welcome Asda’s decision to remove the t-shirt from its stores and strengthen its compliance process to ensure this kind of product doesn’t appear again.

“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.

“To truly assert its commitment to responsible drinking, we look forward to Asda taking significant steps to reduce harmful drinking by supporting the introduction of a minimum unit price; ensuring that the Chief Medical Officer’s low risk drinking guidelines and health warnings are clearly displayed on shelves containing alcohol and on their own label range, and restricting alcohol sales to a designated area of their stores, away from entrances and the end of aisles.”

Dr Brambleby said: “This is a great result from Asda. Health and Wellbeing Board members will be delighted to see that Asda has withdrawn the T-shirt from all its stores, strengthened its compliance process for clothing and re-asserted its commitment to responsible drinking.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.”