The massive ad blitz by Dan Murphy’s across Byron Shire has hit a snag, with complaints around its truck advertising campaign in front of schools and a skatepark, leading to them being withdrawn.
Parent company of Dan Murphy’s is Endeavour Group, which in turn is owned by Woolworths.
While no store exists in Byron, the company tried unsuccessfully to establish one – The Echo reported in 2012 that a liquor bottle shop development application (DA) was rejected by the Office of Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and came with considerable community opposition.
The Echo asked Endeavour Group, ‘How does this [truck] marketing, which appears targeted to minors, align with the company’s Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) commitment?’
A company spokesperson replied to The Echo: ‘We are now investigating the compliance of our media supplier and sincerely apologise if our high standards of responsibility have not been met’.
‘In response to community feedback, we have withdrawn the vans and scooters that were part of Dan Murphy’s mobile billboard campaign in Byron Bay.
‘We only work with suppliers who adhere to these robust measures, and on this occasion we used a supplier for the campaign who has worked with many other alcohol brands.
‘Our ambition is to be Australia’s most responsible retailer of alcoholic beverages, which means that we have strict measures around restricting the marketing, advertising and selling of alcohol to customers of legal age only. We adhere to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) and the Outdoor Media Association Placement Policy’.
President of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord (BBLA), Matt Hunt, told The Echo, the company contacted them, and subsequently they were invited to the BBLA AGM last week.
He said, ‘A lot of concerns were raised about their marketing’.
‘We invite all licensees to contact us if they notice anything regarding inappropriate marketing and the like’.
Mr Hunt, who also operates The Loft, says BBLA can act as conduit between the company and community.
One of the agreements with Dan Murphy’s, he added, is that they would not sell cask wines or super cheap wine.