CP All, the company that operates 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand, has decided to temporarily stop selling draft Leo beer from its brand-new automatic machines for now, following online criticism and protests.
The decision was announced Saturday after anti-drinking groups protested outside CP Tower on Silom Road on Friday, demanding the giant convenience store stop selling draft beer.
The drama came after a video showing how the Leo machine worked — including how to tilt a plastic cup for the perfect pour — went viral and got netizens excited last week. Following the online hype, officials gave 7-Eleven the okay to sell draft beer but only if they covered the machines with big white cloths in order to comply with the alcohol advertising law.
Kamron Chudecha, a representative from the Alcohol Watch Network, said that 7-Eleven’s decision to sell draft beer was “highly inappropriate” adding that drinkers should consume alcohol in proper places, such as restaurants, Daily News reported.
By selling draft beer, Kamron said that drinkers have to consume the beer right after their purchase, and this could lead to road accidents.
The protesters handed their letter of complaint to the board of CP All.
Aside from the groups on Silom, another minor protest was staged by six women outside an unidentified 7-Eleven store. Their photos were shared more than 10,000 times on Saturday, amusing netizens to no end.
In the photos, one of them holds a sign reading, “We don’t want draft beer machines at 7-Eleven,” followed by the hashtag #Protectchildrenyouthandwomen.
“How the heck is selling draft beer any different from the six packs that 7-Eleven has been selling for years?” many netizens questioned, since the machine is operated by the store employees, and customers still have to pay the cashier, where they may be asked for ID.
“We’ve been campaigning against the sale of beer, but have road accidents decreased? No. Have we been able to prevent new teen drinkers? No. It has gotten worse and worse every day. Instead of picking on the sale of alcohol, we should educate Thais that they need to be responsible drinkers,” Drama Addict, a popular Facebook page, wrote in a public post on Friday, which now has over 17,000 likes.
As of now, CP All is trying to decide whether to start selling draft beer again or not.