Boonie, the man who ‘normalised’ binge drinking returns to alcohol promotion with Canadian Club

Less than two years after a Foster’s marketer said he regretted his company using famed binge drinker David Boon to promote its beer, Canadian Club has signed him up.

Boon – who urban legend has it, once drank 52 cans of beer on a flight to the UK – is the new face of Canadian Club in the latest extension of its Over Beer campaign.

The former cricketer even appeared as a Boonie doll created to promote Foster’s brand VB.

But in 2009, Chris Maxwell, national sponsorship manager for Foster’s Group said at a conference: “At the time the business decided he was a good Aussie bloke. However, we came under a lot of criticism. We did not have the foresight. In glorification of that behaviour we have added to the normalisation of binge drinking in Australia.”

boonie over beer adIn today’s announcement of the campaign, Canadian Club’s brand director Trent Chapman said: “Boonie, a cricket legend first and foremost, but also a notable beer enthusiast, is the perfect face for this campaign – someone that Australian consumers can relate to when they are looking for that alternative to beer.”

The release quotes Boon as saying: ““I still enjoy a beer every now and then, but more often I’m finding it isn’t the refreshing drink I was after. My taste buds have definitely got more refined over the years, and I felt it was time for a change.”

And Damian Pincus, founding partner of ad agency The Works, said: “We wanted to take the strategy to the next stage in its evolution. Boonie is renowned for his beer drinking, and over many years has been supported by several beer brands.”

1pm update:  Chapman told Mumbrella:  “Canadian Club does not support or encourage excessive drinking. It’s responsible drinking campaign, Where Do You Draw the Line? sits across everything the brand does. Promotional elements of the Over Beer? campaign are only accessible by legal drinking age consumers. With regards to Boonie’s involvement, he is an Australian cricket legend first and foremost, but also a notable beer enthusiast whose drinking habits and taste buds have refined over the years, which is why we believe he is very suitable for this campaign.”


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