The latest piece from the ever excellent Gordon Campbell has a go at the beat up of North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams. Towards the end he raises some interesting points about Auckland’s new boss. Campbell writes:
If the proximity of alcohol to those in power is an issue, I would have thought that Matt McCarten’s most recent column in the NZ Herald flags a far bigger story, and a much more pressing problem. Rodney Hide’s choice to be the first CEO of the Supercity will be Doug McKay who as McCarten explains has been responsible, in his other role as the chief of Independent Liquor, for targeting the sale of flavoured alcohol drinks to the youth market, via alco-pop drinks that have been a particular favourite of teenage girls. McKay’s firm has made hundreds of millions of dollars out of this ethically dubious trade. McCarten explains how Auckland’s new civic leader customarily plies his wares :
Their innovation is they promote spirits mixed with soft drink and give them trendy names and designs to appeal to younger drinkers.
They market their lollipop-bottled alcohol as RTDs (ready to drink) in four-packs.Their marketing strategy is awesomely calculated. They scan the web identifying trends in culture. Based on what they find, they design a brand such as Woodstock, KGB, Pulse or Cruiser. .They design the labels and promotional materials first. After that, they then make up an alcoholic drink with lots of sugary additives and flavourings.
They make a batch and trial it at parties where young trendsetters hang out. They sponsor huge music events at which their products are given out freely.
The latest ploy is to find emerging bands and massively blanket market their product wherever that band goes.The booze is guzzled down like lollywater by mainly young girls.
Sounds like a great guy. Oh, and McKay’s firm also has a notorious reputation, according to McCarten, for its union-busting tactics, and treatment of staff. It is those revelations that should be triggering calls for resignation this morning, and not on the North Shore.