Fredericton — Following the backlash Cannabis NB has faced for “glamorizing” cannabis use on its website and in promotional materials, NB Liquor is now under fire for its years of making alcohol seem like fun.
“If we’re not allowing Cannabis NB to use images of a relaxed person meditating, then why should NB Liquor be able to show happy, sophisticated people socializing over drinks?” said Gerald Atkinson of Health Canada. “That’s not what alcohol consumption really looks like in New Brunswick. So from now on we want the Crown corporation to show what drinking really does — it makes you act like a total twat.”
The refurbished ANBL website will show scenes such as: a passed-out university student with Sharpie on his face; an inebriated man getting a regrettable tattoo; a hungover woman struggling to reach a bottle of Gatorade on the bedside table.
“I’m not too worried about our sales declining — people will buy booze no matter what. It’s not like anyone looks at the website anyway,” said NB Liquor communications officer Mark Barbour, as he helped an employee place a more “realistic” picture up in the York Street liquor store. “I’d be surprised if anyone even notices the change.”
Barbour then stood back to take in the poster, which was a floor-to-ceiling image of a drunk guy breaking glass bottles in the Tannery while puking on his own shoes.
“Wow…I guess it is pretty rough when you see it this big,” said Barbour, shaking his head.
“I find it kinda refreshing,” said Tamra Watson, 23, who was purchasing coolers at the same Fredericton ANBL.
“Like, this poster shows a girl drunk-texting her ex some embarrassing shit,” she elaborated, gesturing toward a gigantic poster next to her beverages. “I can relate to that. It makes me feel better that it’s not just me.”
Watson continued looking at the picture, then actually decided to throw another pack of Bacardi Breezers in her cart because she felt such solidarity with the woman in the photo.
Even the “Sociable” magazine placed at NB Liquor cash registers will be updated with the more pragmatic imagery.
“Instead of recipes for cocktails, it will show pictures of a 2-4 of Alpine in the fridge next to some wilted celery, and a sad, overweight guy lying on the couch watching Maury,” a Health Canada official told us in an email. “You know — that way NB Liquor isn’t promoting any particular lifestyle in association with alcohol.
“It’s only fair.”