Australian government bans Bacardi's scented bus stops

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MELBOURNE -- An aromatic poster for Bacardi Lemon designed for bus shelters, which emits the scent of the new lemon-flavored, 35% alcohol, rum drink when sensors detect the presence of people, has been banned by the Victorian and South Australian governments because of concerns over its effects on children and people with drinking problems.

The ban so far applies only to shelters owned by the State-run transport systems but the New South Wales government has also spoken to Bacardi-Martini Asia Pacific, the drink's manufacturer, "expressing concern".

Shaken but not deterred, Bacardi-Martini says it will place the posters in other less contentious locations. Paul Hugh-Jones, the company's marketing director who masterminded the ads, says the posters use lemon and orange peel extract, not a rum fragrance: "It's a pleasant smell. I don't think anyone could have a problem with the vapor."

Executive director of Sydney's Youth Action Association, Mike Morey, says the ads show "just how irresponsible liquor companies have become toward young people". Tim Roberts, managing director of a local aroma marketing company, Ecomist, adds: "We wouldn't sell a tobacco scent to a school. Scents should be used only where it's appropriate".

Copyright February 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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