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Tesco dismisses speculative story

Published:  23 July, 2008

by Christian Davis
Tesco has dismissed a story in last Tuesday's Financial Times, Tesco to promote responsible drinking', as purely speculation'.

Dan Jago, Tesco's category director for beers, wines and spirits, is quoted in the story, which says that the UK's largest retailer is to run in-store TV adverts advising shoppers to drink alcohol responsibly over Christmas. The story by Jenny Wiggins and Elizabeth Rigby goes on to say that Diageo, the world's largest drinks company is in talks with Tesco and other retailers about developing responsible drinking messages.

According to a spokeswoman for Tesco, the quotes from Jago were taken out of context from a recent seminar that he attended. Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), confirmed to Harpers that Jago had been responding to questions. Jago was not available to comment.

The story, albeit a speculative one, follows Christopher Carson's recent call to the drinks industry to take the social responsibility of selling alcohol more seriously.

The chairman of the WSTA and of Constellation Wines Europe was giving the 12th Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) lecture at Vintners' Hall on 9 October (see Harpers,

13 October). He warned the industry that if they do not crack down on pub happy hours, promotional nights, even retailer bogofs, the government may bring in legislation as a reaction to the bad publicity over binge drinking.