Redback Offer "Not All It Seems"
National press make fuss about long-standing offer
A recent story in the national press looks like being a successful publicity stunt for the Redback Pub.
Attacks from health campaigners have brought the pub's '£10 for all you can drink' offer to the attention of the public in national newspapers.
But local licensing officer Sgt Nigel Charlton told us the offer is not all it seems. "This offer has actually been going for years. We suspect this is a bid by the Redback to encourage more people into the pub at a time of year when many New Zealanders and Australians are returning home or setting off on their travels."
Sgt Charlton continued: "In truth, what you get for your £10 is actually not that much of a bargain. You receive a wristband, which you have to wear at all times, and a 500ml flimsy plastic beaker. You can get it filled at the bar as much as you like, plus you get a free barbeque. But I estimate that at the very most you would manage to drink 3 pints, which makes this offer look like less good value. What you have to understand is that people are not allowed to serve themselves. Also, if you lose your cup or it gets damaged - which in that crush is pretty easy - you would have to buy another for £10. Non wrist-band wearing customers get priority at the bar and this place is packed, so you could wait a very long time for your 500ml drink."
He added: "It gets so packed in there that rather than lose their place in the queue, people will urinate against the bar."
In the light of this offer, the home affairs select committee urged ministers to clamp down on irresponsible bars and pubs. They found the 'whole focus' of police resources was in targeting drink-fuelled and football violence, meaning officers were 'hitting their targets but missing the point'.
However, Sgt Charlton told us: "During the hours when this offer is operating on Sundays, we receive no calls and there is no record of crime. This is a responsible establishment. They employ the best bouncers in Ealing and always have the right numbers of personnel on duty at any one time. They also keep bouncers outside and they police the church yard and the chip shop opposite."
Redback manager Andy Laloli, who came up with the promotional idea, insisted the pub was not encouraging binge drinking. He said: "Times are tough and everyone wants to stretch the pound as far as they can. People can go and buy a pack of beer for £5 in the supermarket, and the shop's responsibility ends there. But we can offer a promotion that we are responsible for."
At the same time a differences of opinion are emerging from the police and the Home Office on how to get people to drink in moderation.
November 14, 2008