The head of the Australian Medical Association has labelled plans by Woolworths to stock new alcoholic product Duff beer in their BWS and Dan Murphys stores as "dangerous" and "increasing the social acceptability of alcohol misuse".
AMA's outgoing chief Steve Hambleton said: "People have been watching The Simpsons for years, this is ready-made product placement and dangerous exposure to people misusing alcohol."
“We’ve talked in the past about the effects of exposing young children to alcohol advertising, here it is in spades,” said Dr Hambleton, referring to The Simpsons cartoon which has been playing on Channel Ten for more than 20 years.
A Woolworths Liquor Group spokeswoman said: "We have adhered to alcohol advertising codes and do not use The Simpsons characters in our stores. There will be no press, outdoor or website advertising of the product."
A pop-up bar devoted to the beer's debut is being held for seven days at the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel in Sydney, and the product has a Facebook page. The spokesperson added that "all materials have adhered to alcohol advertising codes".
The AMA has repeatedly called for a parliamentary inquiry into alcohol advertising. Dr Hambleton said research has shown under-age drinking permanently impairs young people from being able to realise when they are intoxicated.
Brewing giant Lion Nathan tried in the mid-1990s to produce a version of the beer, a move that was knocked down by Twentieth Century Fox, the owner of the trademark, in the Federal Court in 1996.
In 2011 Perth-based Allstates Liquor Wholesalers got into hot water when they stocked German-brewed “Legendary Duff Beer” with a label design and logo resembling those downed on the popular show. They were ordered to "cease and desist" by Fox via lawyers.