A top beverage company's executive in Australia has apologised for a marketing campaign that supplied free condoms with alcopops.
Independent Distillers executive chairman Doug McKay told Senate enquiry that he was "extremely embarrassed" by the promotional campaign of Vodka Cruisers and put the blame on his juniors.
"It slipped through the net. As soon as I found out, I shut the promotion down," Herald Sun quoted McKay, as saying.
Vodka Cruisers are popular with young women. The government is planning a 70 per cent tax increase on these alcopops in a bid to reduce binge drinking among young people, especially women in Australia
However, a report by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) submitted to senate committee inquiry shows no link between alcopops and binge-drinking.
"What I'm reading, what I'm hearing . . . is that where alcohol abuse is a problem, it seems to be a minority in the community that we can identify," said McKay.
"The majority of the drinkers handle the products responsibly, enjoy the products in the way that you would like to see the products enjoyed," he added.
Meanwhile, the hotel industry also told Senate's alcopop inquiry that higher alcopop taxes could encourage teens to resort to drugs.
"If you can buy an ecstasy pill for $20, why would you buy alcohol?" said Australian Hotels Association director Bill Healey.