Northampton pub criticised by advertising watchdog after distributing promotional flyers in school pupil's book-bags

The leaflet, advertising the Sixfields pub, breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 18.15 (Alcohol).
The leaflet, advertising the Sixfields pub, breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 18.15 (Alcohol).

Sixfields Hungry Horse in Northampton has been hit by criticism after primary school children took home leaflets in their bags promoting '£5 off and a free drink' for the firms re-opening.

One parent, whose child was given a leaflet in their school bag, called on the Advertising Standards Agency and challenged whether the advert was irresponsible because it promotes alcoholic drinks.

The front page of the leaflet stated: “with two great offers £5 off and a free drink”, while the back included a list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, which featured in the cut-price deal.

The watchdog upheld the complaint from the anonymous parent, telling Hungry Horse to ensure marketing materials - promoting alcohol - should not be directed at people under 18.

The body said: "We acknowledged that the only express reference to alcohol was contained within the small print of the terms and conditions.

"We also noted that the leaflet did not contain any alcohol logos or brands.

"We considered that the leaflet was distributed to a person who was under 18 years of age and that the leaflet referred to alcoholic drinks, the ad breached the Code."

But Hungry Horse said that they were a community-based pub designed to appeal to a wide range of customers, including families, with a view of encouraging the entire family to dine out in the pub rather than encouraging underage drinking.

The firm said the reason the terms and conditions included a list of alcoholic drinks was so that consumers were aware of which drinks were included in the offer and emphasised that the terms and conditions stated that alcohol should not be served to anyone under the age of 18 and that proof of ID would be requested.

In a recent statement, issued to the Chronicle & Echo a spokesperson for Greene King said: “The leaflet, promoting the reopening of the Sixfields Hungry Horse in Northampton, was designed to encourage families to visit the pub.

“The decision was taken locally and we have reminded our pub managers that they should not be doing any local marketing activity at schools.

"This was a one-off tactical activity at one pub, and we did not pay to distribute the leaflets.”