Store Listing Booze as 'Student Essentials' Faces Backlash
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‘Pathetic and Wrong in Every Way’: Supermarket Located Near University Under Fire for Advertising Booze as ‘Student Essentials’

A supermarket situated near a university is forced to take down its “Student Essentials” booze display. (Photo: Jam Press)

A Tesco Express store located in close proximity to Glasgow University has faced scrutiny for its marketing approach, which featured rows of booze under the banner of “Student Essentials.” This marketing display included various vodka options, such as 35cl bottles of Smirnoff and Glens, along with 35cl and 70cl bottles of Tesco’s house-brand vodka, Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Notably, the vodka prices within this display ranged from £7.50 ($9.35) to £14.50 ($18.07) per bottle, with discounts available on select brands.

The controversial promotional strategy drew criticism from shopper Alistair McIntosh, a 62-year-old individual who found the approach both “shocking” and “irresponsible.” Given the store’s location right next to the university campus, he questioned the appropriateness of promoting alcoholic beverages as essential items for students.

“I just popped in to pick up a few items,” McIntosh explained, per the report. “I thought it was a shocking and irresponsible approach to marketing. How can it be essential for students?”

“The shop is right next to the uni,” he added. “It is pathetic and wrong in every way.”

Responding to the criticism, a Tesco spokesperson acknowledged the oversight and confirmed that the “Student Essentials” signage has been promptly removed.

The last time a supermarket was under fire for its boozy signage, a Kroger store in Georgia was asked to pull its Snoop Dogg wine display after customers said it was “offensive” and “stereotypical” to have featured during Black History Month.

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.