Lion’s irresponsible collectible can overkill

With the 2017 State of Origin series just one week away, brewer Lion, has come up with 45 million cunning ways to strategically seep into, and reinforce its place in Australian homes.  To be precise, 45 million limited edition XXXX Gold cans and bottles that feature 12 iconic and legendary Queensland rugby league clubs, whose first letters combine to spell out ‘QUEENSLANDER’.

See what they’ve done there!

XXXX marketing manager Richard Knight claims Lion is simply paying homage to some of the local clubs and senior teams where many great players hail. “It’s these local Queensland footy clubs who’ve taught the legends of the game how to be great and we thought it fitting to recognise their support,” Knight said.

For clubs such as The Logan Brothers Rubgy League Club, the recognition on a can means increased publicity, promotion, praise and of course pride. The 12 clubs are about to become household names across Queensland. But the real winner is Lion, which is deceptively fortifying its place in Australian households. And after the State of Origin fanfare fades, Queenslanders and their children will be left with tangible reminders, 12 collectibles to be exact, of the drink that honours Queensland Rugby League (QRL) and the Maroons.

In many ways, Lion’s promotion is more insidious than rival, Carlton United Breweries (CUB).

Last year CUB saw fit to produce a limited-edition commemorative blue Victoria Bitter can, based on the NSW Blues’ team jersey, and then proceeded to give them away, via a token in the Daily Telegraph.

All of these promotions have the same ultimate aim, to promote an entirely false connection between sport, alcohol and success.

Lion goes one step further, with its promotion an attempt to align itself with the local communities that the 12 Queensland clubs represent.

Of course this issue is ultimately more than simply a concern about misleading advertising.

All the evidence we have makes very clear that the greater exposure to alcohol advertising, the greater likelihood that kids will begin drinking earlier in life and consume alcohol at higher levels.

And that’s exactly what is happening.

FARE’s 2017 Annual Alcohol Poll also found that 77% of parents say their children are exposed to alcohol ads.

With 45 million special edition cans available in major outlets across Queensland for the Origin series, we can only imagine how they will be consumed by Queensland’s working age population of 3.15 million, and the even bigger toxic legacy they will leave in the minds of children across the state.

There is something we can do.

Booze Free Sport is a Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) campaign calling for alcohol sponsors to be phased out from professional sports.

Change is possible, but we need your help to get there. Together, we can get Australia’s favourite sports to give up alcohol sponsorship and to provide a healthier environment for Aussie kids.

Become a #BoozeFreeSport fan today.

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Michael Thorn

Michael is the Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and tweets from @MichaelTThorn.

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