Promo's last shout

September 19, 2003

A University of Nebraska bookstore has ended a promotion that gave customers vouchers for free beer. The privately owned store withdrew the offer, which was legal, when university administrators and police complained that it ran counter to their efforts to curb students' binge drinking, writes Jon Marcus in Boston.

"We would never have objected if the word 'beer' hadn't been so prominent," Linda Major, director of the university's anti-drinking programme, told the student newspaper.

"What has happened is that alcohol and college life have become closely intertwined," she said. "One of our goals has been to disentangle that mess. Obviously, the promotion keeps them tied together, and that's what we objected to."

With every purchase, the bookstore offered a voucher for a free beer or $2 off an appetiser at an off-campus sports bar and grill. The store said it needed the gimmick to attract business because of competition from the official campus store.

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