Watch the video above: Convenience stores fire back at latest Beer Store ad. Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – The vice-president of Mac’s Convenience Stores is firing back at the Beer Store after a recent advertising blitz characterized convenience store employees as more than willing to sell booze to underage kids.
“The video released last week by the Beer Store is such a low blow to the 70,000 men and women that work in a convenience store in Ontario,” Tom Moher, vice-president of Mac’s said in the statement.
“Somehow, our clerks are responsible enough to sell their products in Quebec but in Ontario they are not? It’s just an insult to our people and to our industry as a whole.”
The fight over where beer can be sold has intensified recently after Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the government would be opening up liquor and beer sales in a select number of express kiosks across Ontario.
But convenience stores owners are hoping the government will take it one step further and break the monopoly on selling beer currently held by the LCBO and the Beer Store – a foreign-owned company made up of Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors and Sapporo.
The Beer Store is fighting the government’s plan to expand alcohol sales, releasing two ads so far. The first, featuring four-time world curling champion Glenn Howard indirectly implies more youth would be able to illegally get their hands on alcohol in convenience stores.
“I think we all have a responsibility to look out for Ontario’s kids and to protect our communities. At The Beer Store it’s a commitment we take to heart,” Howard says in the ad.
The second ad, which debuted last week, is more direct, depicting teenagers freely buying alcohol in a convenience store without being asked for identification.
The ad ends claiming selling alcohol in convenience stores is “just not right for our kids.”
Moher dismissed the implication of the ads, calling it an “insult.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said in the statement.