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The alcopops scandal

Undercover Sunday Times reporters posed as businessmen setting up a chain of new-style licensed premises for young people. They invited the main manufacturers of alcopops to see artist's impressions which showed bubble gum machines on the premises.

A director of Scottish Courage, maker of the biggest selling brand, Two Dogs and Sub Zero, said:
"They ease the transition between drinking orange squash and drinking alcohol... They have combined the two to make that transition easier." He believed that drinkers of alcopops started at under 13.

An executive of Diamond Zest suggested that alcopops were designed to counter the trend among young people to abandon alcohol in favour of ecstasy. He said:
"The clubbing market has gone to popping pills and taking water. Alcopops were a way of getting that market back."

A director of Bass, makers of Hooch, advised the new company to pretend that they were setting up pubs when applying for an alcohol license, and to play down their intended sales of alcopops.

page 1/5, Sunday Times, 11/5/97 index
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