Promoting Excessive Drinking
The following letter was sent to President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Eric Claus.
The manager of Waldbaum's store at 111-15 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Beach, N.Y. informed me that he has nothing to do with the decision to display beer bongs in the store. This is an instrument that is used in binge drinking that encourages participants to quaff down an entire beer in one swallow. [An] article appeared in the local paper "The Wave" on July 18, 2008.
It is not unusual to read disturbing news reports of young adults who engage in binge drinking, that results in sudden death due to excessive alcohol consumption or drunk driving.
I have lived in the Rockaways for over 40 years, and I have seen Waldbaum's grow and expand. As a regular customer, I value the quality of your products and service. On the [sales] receipt it states Waldbaum's 100-year celebration of "food and family." I am disappointed in your decision to approve this binge-drinking item to be displayed in your stores while celebrating 100 years of "food and family."
When your marketing department introduces a new product, I would hope they would have the integrity to reject a display of an item that is in very poor taste and judgment. I trust you will discontinue selling beer bongs. Possibly as a company policy you could encourage responsible drinking in your ad and marketing promotions as a community service for your customers. I anticipate a response shortly.
MAUREEN R. MCGUIRE