Hit or Miss - JD Wetherspoon prompts media furore by dropping price of a pint to 99p

Pint promo JD Wetherspoon has sparked controversy by dropping the price of a pint to a recession-busting 99p.

The 700-strong pub chain is selling a pint of Greene King IPA or a bottle of San Miguel lager for under a pound as well as slashing prices on wine and food. The move generated huge national and regional media coverage, but many reports lamented the 'return to 1989 alcohol prices' as encouraging irresponsible drinking.

How I see it

Rob Bruce, Head of PR, Whyte & Mackay

This is a tough one. On the one side, you have a pub company that has a good reputation for providing value to consumers, but on the other you have a government and health lobby keen to stop alcohol misuse.

On this occasion, despite some negative coverage, JD Wetherspoon has done the right thing by championing the consumer. In terms of drink purchases, UK consumers have always been price aware, but in the current climate they will react positively to promotions.

The 'pound a pint' message will draw the punters in, but they will have to ensure it is not abused - any high-profile mistake could cause real problems. But drinking in a great pub with well trained staff is still the safest and most enjoyable place to enjoy alcohol.

- HIT.

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