Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) will be, from Saturday, dealing with the law of unexpected consequences with respect of their changes last year to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. The Alcohol Bill 2010 was aimed at banning the selling of alcoholic drinks at a discount and restricting alcohol advertising.
However, because it only applies in Scotland, online orders from companies who distribute from England are unaffected. One company who are therefore taking advantage of this is everyone’s favourite supermarket bogeyman, Tesco, who have sent out a marketing e-mail to customers saying:
“Great news! All orders placed at TescoWine by the case will still qualify for these discounts when applicable as your wine is dispatched to you from our distribution centre in Daventry, England.”
No doubt other supermarkets and online wine retailers will follow that lead, if they have not done so already.
“Tesco’s move, which encourages the bulk-buying of alcohol, flies in the face of its claims to be a responsible retailer. This is a blatant attempt to get round the law.”
Blatant it might be but if your politicans are going to pass a law with such an obvious loophole then expect it to be used. Tesco are providing the method, the market will decide if it is worth their while or not.
The politicans also aren’t happy about it. A government spokesman said:
“Internet sales represent only a very small proportion of the alcohol sold in Scotland, but it is an area that we watch closely to see if further action is necessary.”
What further action you blithering morons? Do you seriously think you can stop this sort of thing from happening? If so, how? More regulation, perhaps this time concerning purchasing alcohol from other countries? Searching vehicles as they cross the border from England?
Answers on a postcard please to Alex Salmond…