Melbourne pub criticised for asking women to remove underwear

September 18th, 2008 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydeny, Sep 18 (IANS) A pub in Melbourne’s posh St. Kilda suburb has come under fire from women’s groups, the hotel industry and the state government for offering free drinks to women who would remove their underwear.State of Victoria’s liquor licensing director Sue Maclellan Thursday ordered Saint Hotel licensee Cameron Manning to cancel the “No Undie” event scheduled for Sunday.

If the pub defies the ban, it risks incurring a fine of Australian $13,000 ($10,300) and losing its licence.

The advertisement for the event says: “Free glass of champagne for first 100 ladies who flash bra or undies to bar staff; for free drink hang your undies on the line above the bar for $50 drink card.”

Melbourne Centre Against Sexual Assault spokeswoman Deb Bryant told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that the event was no laughing matter and another Melbourne pub had last year encouraged women to “come in bikinis”.

“It is totally irresponsible using women to promote those sort of views, let alone in terms of irresponsible drinking. I would hope women that frequent that venue tell bar staff ‘that’s just not OK’… or I suggest they don’t go to that venue. It’s not appropriate, it’s sexist and just encourages inappropriate attitudes towards women,” Bryant said.

Acting Victorian Premier Rob Hulls said the hotel’s actions were “inappropriate” and the liquor licensing director had stepped in to ban the event.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has also lashed out at the pub for its “sexist” and “tasteless promotions” that undermine the industry.

“It is unacceptable for a handful of maverick venues to undermine the appeal of our industry by tasteless promotions like this one,” AHA chief executive Bill Healey said in a statement.

“We are continuing to work hard to ensure that all licensed venues promote responsible consumption of alcohol and we believe this promotion is inconsistent with this objective,” Healey added.

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