Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Concert promotion derided for alcohol content

By Tang Tsai-hsin, Wang Meng-lun and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Greater Taichung City Councilor Huang Kuo-shu holds up Taiwan Beer advertisements in Greater Taichung on Thursday. Huang said he is worried that the advertisements, which feature pop stars, might encourage people under the legal age to consume alcohol.

Photo: Tang Tsai-hsin, Taipei Times

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL) is under fire for its targeting of young people in a “buy-beer-in-exchange-for-ticket” promotion of a music concert in Greater Taichung slated for today.

Greater Taichung City Councilor Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said it is inappropriate for TTL to conduct such a promotion, which also included free alcohol beverage tasting during the concert.

The event, known as “Taiwan Beer 2013 Gold Party,” sponsored by TTL and popular entertainers such as Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Yoga Lin (林宥嘉), will attract a large crowd of young people, Huang said.

TTL’s offer to “buy three cases of beer, and get a ticket to the front section” encourages young people to take up drinking, Huang said on Thursday.

In response, Greater Taichung Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) said he also believes it is improper for a music concert to advocate the consumption of alcohol by receiving sponsorship from liquor companies.

“If merchants at the venue permit youths under the age of 18 to purchase or sample alcohol, they would be breaking the law. It is not allowed,” he said.

Tsai added that the alcohol regulations and principles had been passed on to TTL, and the company had responded positively.

Tsai also promised that the city government’s Cultural Affairs Bureau and Social Affairs Bureau would send staff to the venue to monitor the situation.

TTL president Lin Tzann-feng (林讚峰) said that because of feedback from the public, the promotion would be changed to an offer of concert tickets for purchasing three cases of nonalcoholic beverages, such as grape juice or dark malt drinks.

Also on Thursday, Huang showed an empty bottle of TTL “Golden Brand Beer” which had two cockroaches inside it, saying it was purchased by a Taichung resident on Monday, but he saw the cockroaches only after he had finished drinking the beer.

Huang requested the city government to help the unnamed resident seek compensation from TTL because otherwise, according to the company’s rules, customers can only receive a replacement.

Tsai responded that all alcohol products must follow hygiene standards and consumers can make a complaint directly to the company.

“If consumers are not satisfied with how the company handles a case, they can file a complaint with the city’s Finance Bureau. If they are still not satisfied with the company’s response, the consumer can file a second complaint,” he said.

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