Current All Blacks Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown, as well as former All Black Stephen Donald, have come under fire for advertising alcohol.
The trio are co-founders of a new ready-to-drink drink called Grins, and have personally promoted it on social media.
But the move has not gone down well with rugby league legend and former chairman of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising, Sir Graham Lowe, who feels the trio are abusing their position as role models for young people members of society.
“I’m very surprised they got into this. I just think it’s cheesy,” Lowe told Newstalk ZB’s D’Arcy Waldegrave.
“Being an All Black or a former All Black and being involved in a youth-focused campaign, I think, regardless of everything else, is corny. I’m a bit disappointed and surprised.
A recent ad from the company featuring a man taking a sip from a Grins can while wakeboarding has already been removed after official complaints.
Lowe said he thought it was worth considering stopping the player from endorsing the liquor industry at all.
“I think we have come to a sad place. Surely these men can see and are aware of the harm this can cause and it shouldn’t be up to the governing body or anyone – I’m sure they will have their own view on this. It shouldn’t be up to that, it should be up to all of us as individuals,” Lowe continued.
“We know what damage this can cause. It doesn’t hurt everyone, but for some it can cause and trigger a painful and terrible life. And if these guys aren’t aware of that, they’re just taking the fruits at hand, that’s what they are [doing]. It’s a really sticky spot on their career.
“They are probably well paid to do it. In the end, dollars trump good and bad. Should young people be exposed to alcohol advertising? No, in my opinion they shouldn’t. There is no gray area. It’s either true or false. I think that’s wrong.
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