SNP ‘hypocritical’ over Yes alcohol promotion
The SNP has been accused of hypocrisy for promoting ‘Yes’ branded whisky, gin and vodka on its website as it plans to prohibit alcohol advertising.
Its online store features bottles, a glass and a hip flask adorned with pro-independence branding.
The promotions come as ministers propose a ban on advertising that would would also bring a halt to sporting events providing guests with branded caps, umbrellas and other merchandising.
Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative shadow minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, told The Scottish Sun: “The SNP plasters ‘Yes’ all over their own branded vodka at the same time as threatening to say ‘No’ to all future alcohol advertising.
“This proposed ban would be a hammer blow to hundreds of iconic Scottish firms.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael MP said: “It is ironic that at a time when the SNP are undermining our scotch whisky industry by threatening to close down their merchandise sales, they are trying to raise funds by producing their own branded products.”
An SNP spokesman said: “The SNP is proud to support Scottish produce.
“The Scottish Government consultation is at an early stage, no decisions have been made and ministers are holding a range of roundtables during the consultation period.
Blair Bowman, a whisky consultant from Edinburgh, said the SNP was being hypocritical and could be forced to stop selling its own branded content if the most extreme version of the advertising proposals are adopted.
Alison Douglas, the chief executive of government-funded charity Alcohol Focus Scotland, which works to reduce alcohol-related harm, said the rules “should apply to any producer or retailer,” but did not comment directly on the SNP merchandising.
DF Concerts, Scotland’s biggest music promoters, said that a ban on alcohol advertising would devastate festivals and cause a surge in ticket prices that would drive audiences to England and cause “huge job losses”.
In a letter to Maree Todd, the public health minister, first reported by The Scotsman, the promoters said that T in the Park would never have happened had curbs on alcohol advertising and marketing been in place.