Bar criticised for ‘Jimmy Savile’ promotionBy Melita Kiely
A bar has sparked outrage with its “extremely offensive” promotion encouraging guests to dress like paedophile Jimmy Savile.
Life of Riley in South Shields, UK, took to Facebook to advertise its February Fancy Dress event, which carried the slogan: “Anything goes, Santa to Saville and everything inbetween”.
It was taken down from the social media site on Thursday and followed by an apology on the bar’s Facebook page that said: “Last poster was a bad error judgement. We are deeply sorry.”
Officials have branded the initiative as “extremely offensive” and “wholly irresponsible”.
“This poster is appalling and sends out a multitude of inappropriate messages to young people,” said Colin Shevills, director of alcohol awareness group Balance north East, as reported by the The Shields Gazette.
“The images and the wording used are extremely offensive and are juxtaposed with offers of cheap alcohol, which we know makes people more vulnerable.
“It is yet another example of wholly irresponsible marketing designed to encourage young people to drink to excess by offering alcohol at pocket-money prices.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said officers have spoken with the local licensing authority and organisers of the event – which is still going ahead – and the poster has been withdrawn.
Bar manager Adrian Eaves said: “We didn’t mean to cause any upset to any charity or person. It was purely for promotional purposes.
“We took it straight down when we received complaints and want to apologise profusely to anyone who was offended. We’re not that sort of bar and would never want to do that.
“We are not trying to encourage binge drinking. We were just trying to improve our bar and have only just started doing this night.”
Allegations of sexual abuse involving the BBC radio DJ and TV presenter came to light in 2012, with reports revealing Savile subjected patients in hospitals throughout the UK to sexual abuse for decades.
In December last year, a US bar was slammed for advertising a deal of six Tequila shots for US$10 and calling it the “Michael Brown Special”.