Crisis at Independent Liquor deepens


On Saturday I blogged about a new report showing 70% of alcohol intake of girls aged 14-17 is from RTDs.

If that wasn’t tidy enough for Independent Liquor’s boss Julian Davidson, we now see Independent Liquor’s solely owned The Mill booze outlet selling its Red Square Vodka online to kids.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the kid’s parent was essentially told by Independent Liquor/The Mill’s GM Bevan Seddon that;

“because our son was prepared to lie about his age we had failed in our moral duty as parents”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Seddon denies this, but confirmed he made a comment about telling him that his son had lied. Then, just to put icing on the cake, Bevan Seddon kept digging, and slammed the parent by saying

“all parents should be accountable for the actions of their teenage children”.

If it’s not bad enough that young girls aged 14 years are tucking into RTDs, Independent Liquor’s own nationwide retail outlet The Mill is flicking Red Square Vodka online to more kids. 

This mess will give more ammunition to groups like Alcohol Healthwatch and the Women’s Health Action who already thinks Independent Liquor’s Voluntary Industry Code on RTDs is not worth the paper it’s written on.

Independent Liquor’s highly paid spin merchant Mark Unsworth will be earning his coin this week trying to defuse what is turning out to be a PR cluster f**k for his boss.

Makes you wonder what Japanese brewer Asahi, who happened to pay $1.5 billion for Independent Liquor in 2011, will be thinking about their NZ investment.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.