Frothing over beer billboard

Robert Irwin is one of many residents objecting to a sign at Sexton Hill.
Robert Irwin is one of many residents objecting to a sign at Sexton Hill. John Gass /TWE060112beer

A BILLBOARD on the Pacific Hwy at Sexton Hill depicting young people drinking beer and the massive headline "Destiny is calling, but beer is on the other line ... hello beer" has caused an uproar among members of the community.

They say the billboard advertising Carlton Dry beer encourages underage drinking, drink-driving and the idea that young people should not strive to fulfil their aspirations but instead take to drinking.

"It's outrageous and totally counteracts the police billboards attempting to tackle the problem of drink driving," Cudgen resident Ashley Byrnes said.

Kingscliff resident Robert Irwin said he was "appalled" by the sign.

"I teach kids boxing and work hard to get the kids off the streets and away from alcohol so they have a positive view on their destiny," he said.

On Carlton United Brewery's website, the company's general manager of marketing Andy Meldrum defends the campaign, stating it "stays true to the great Carlton Dry tradition of doing whatever, whenever and having an awesome time with your mates by saying hello to beer and goodbye to the mundane."

"Hello Beer recognises that life's best moments are shaped by random fun and forgetting about the day-to-day obligations which hold you back," he said.

Will Munday from Cabarita Beach said he found the ad "pretty shocking".

"I was on a bus with friends on the way to a festival. We saw the sign and all thought it was very wrong."

Spokesman for Carlton United Brewers, Dan Holland, said the Carlton Dry billboard was responsible and completely in line with community and advertising standards.

"The actors are mature, clearly adults and are not depicted either intoxicated or acting inappropriately," he said.

"Beer is a sustainable part of our culture and the vast majority of us enjoy a beer with friends and family as part of a balanced life".

Topics:  beer billboard

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