AN image depicting Santa Clause drinking from a bottle of Buckfast tweeted from an account linked to the firm has been criticised by health campaigners.
Stewart Wilson, a sales manager at distributor JC Chandler, posted the picture in a tweet from his account, @StewartWilson19. Mr Wilson’s Twitter page describes itself as: “The approved Twitter account for Buckfast Tonic Wine.”
The image, which features the controversial tipple spilling onto Santa’s beard, includes the caption: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Buckfast”. Buckfast is regularly cited in police reports, with Stratchlyde Police linking the drink to more than 6,500 crime reports over a three-year period up to 2013.
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Protection’s Eric Carlin said: “It’s outrageous. Anyone with any sense would know this is inappropriate.
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“We would be really concerned about any association between Santa, Christmas and Buckfast - which has been linked to thousands of crimes.”
The Scottish Familes Affected by Alcohol and Drugs also hit out at the tweet, saying that it was “another attempt by the alcohol industry to associate alcohol consumption with family occasions.”
Wilson defended the picture, which he said was sent to him, calling it a “bit of festive humour”.
“There is a historic tradition that Santa gets left a glass of milk or a glass of sherry or port on Christmas Eve. Our brand is no different. There might well be households out there that leave a glass of Buckfast.”
MSPs said that the makers of the drink would disown the image, with Willie Rennie, Lib Dem leader, saying: “I’m sure the Benedictine monks did not approve this drunken celebration of the birth of Jesus. Abuse of Buckfast wine can cause havoc to families and communities as well as our health.”
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