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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
T-shirts in double-meaning boob
Campaign T-shirt
Reaction to the T-shirt campaign has been mixed
A row has broken out over a set of Scottish Executive T-shirts designed to encourage women to stop binge drinking.

The pink tops carry the logo "Mine's a Double" across the chest and have been produced to persuade females to have at least two alcohol-free days a week.

The alcohol advisory team in Aberdeen claims the wording gives off a mixed-message and is inappropriate and potentially demeaning to women.

The executive said the shirts were issued with guidance as to their use.

They were produced for a specific newspaper campaign to promote safe drinking and also carry a small slogan on their left sleeves which reads: "I'm giving my body two days off alcohol."

However, the Joint Alcohol and Drug Action Team (JADAT) in Aberdeen is unhappy with the design and is sending them back to the executive.

The immediate reaction was - we don't want this loose in Aberdeen
Jennie Biggs
Aberdeen JADAT

Team members also plan to take up the issue of the wording with Deputy Health Minister Rhona Brankin later this week.

Alcohol development officer Jennie Biggs said: "When we saw the T-shirts and how prominent the 'Mine's a Double' caption was, compared with the small slogan on the sleeve, we felt this was going to give out very mixed messages.

"The immediate reaction was - we don't want this loose in Aberdeen.

"The people we showed the T-shirt to did not get the intended message and felt it was inappropriate and referring to excess drinking.

'Specific guidance'

"The fact the T-shirt is pink, which tends to be associated with breast cancer campaigns, was also felt to be inappropriate."

An executive spokesman said the clothing had been designed with a very specific audience in mind.

He explained: "These T-shirts were designed for a particular promotion of safe drinking messages with a national daily newspaper.

Group of women drinking in a bar
The T-shirts are designed to encourage women to lay off alcohol

"The Mine's a Double slogan references the advice that women should take two days off from drinking alcohol to allow their body to recover.

"The T-shirts were sent to local drug and alcohol teams as a gesture and came with very specific guidance on when they could be used - mainly with a younger target group in mind."

Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said it was important that messages promoting sensible drinking were clear.

"You have got to be very careful that the messages you send out are understood by everyone, not ambiguous and straight to the point about cutting out binge drinking," he said.


We asked if you thought the T-shirts give out a mixed message or were inappropriate. The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we received:

Just pure crazy. It suggests it is a reasoNable norm to drink five days a week. Just pure crazy.
Cameron, Edinburgh

The whole furore stinks of "Political Correctness" again, if you ask me.
Dan, Glasgow, Scotland

What a waste of money! If you're going to do something at least do it right. I would never have guessed "Mine's a Double" meant what they intend it to mean. Well done for the medical researcher (Dublin) for trying to gain a positive slant to it all - but if that's what the intention was then shame on them.
Mary, Glasgow

Anything that improves the health, and safety, of the population must be a good thing. It is perhaps inevitable that some people will be offended by the slogan, but if more people stand up and take notice as a result, then it will be worth it.
Iain Taylor, Dundee, Scotland

I quite like the T-shirts and would wear one. However, I do think they are sending out a mixed message. When I first saw them I thought it was a promotional freebie distributed by a pub/night club. There is no way that the T-shirt could be offensive to anyone.
Maria Bond, Dundee, Scotland

Where exactly is the T-shirt demeaning? It is ambiguous in its message, perhaps the message on the left sleeve should be directly under the "mine's a double" message. Also when did pink become breast cancer only, get a grip.
Neil, Glasgow

I don't find it offensive - but the main objection is that the message isn't CLEAR. Who would ever guess from the logo what is the point? By the way - even if it was clear - I doubt that it would have much, if any, effect.
Aileen Thomson, Victoria, Canada

Are they producing another T-shirt with the slogan "I do it five times a week"?
Yvonne, Aberdeen

It seems the Scottish Executive have exactly the response they were looking for. A high-profile campaign thanks to a public response, albeit a negative one. Now if someone is spotted wearing the T-shirt, we'll know what it's actually saying. A clever piece of PR work...sort of.
Michael, Glasgow

A complete waste of money and what I find shocking is that it's trying to get women to take two days off from drinking. If women need to be encouraged to take two days off from drinking they need an AA appointment not a T-shirt.
James, Aberdeen

Sounds like the committee should have had a double. More stupid than offensive.
Derry Robertson, Picton, Canada

I couldn't work out if the T-shirts were part of a bar promotion encouraging double measures or if they were some sort of joke about chest sizes! I certainly didn't pick up on the two days off alcohol message and I certainly wouldn't wear one. I do support the actual message though so keep trying.
Anon, Edinburgh

I love the idea behind the T-shirts. But I have to admit after reading the article I thought it would be a great top to wear downtown...while drinking!!
Pauline, Dartmouth, Canada

Ambiguous or not, the T-shirts seem to have done their job of making women's binge drinking a talking point - a small Scottish story has made the BBC news and people from as far away as Australia are commenting on it.
Carmen, Nottingham

Obscure and likely to be misunderstood? Yes. Potentially demeaning? Nonsense. Inappropriate pink? Ridiculous.
Colin Macdonald, Torphins, Aberdeenshire

In all honesty does anyone seriously think that a T-shirt is going to influence the way young women drink either way. It is continually astounding what the tax payer is forced into funding. Let them smoke and drink and let the government take the revenue, don't spend money on ridiculous T-shirts!!!!!
Duncan Ferguson, Aberdeen

My immediate thought is of a ladette out on a night out wanting to attract the attentions of men to buy her drinks and give the impression she can handle her alcohol in vast quantities! I would not want to wear something which had the potential to give out such a vulgar impression of myself.
Lianne Fyfe, Edinburgh, Scotland

I'm not too sure how effective these campaigns are. The Breast Cancer seems to be a success but this campaign seems to have got off on the wrong foot. Maybe it could be highlighted in River City?
Ian MacPhail, Glasgow, Scotland

Two days off the session a week! So is five days on the session OK? Slogan really a bit vague i think. Maybe a wild idea but why not put a chuck of the tax the government is getting from alcohol towards research for less damaging alcoholic drinks.
Doug, Edinburgh

Typical of sloppy thinking of quangos. Need basic checks before going to print - focus group etc. Possibly a by-product of dumbing down of Higher English education.
Frank Baillie, Hamilton, Canada

You could not make this up could you? I am in the wrong game. I should be in marketing and get paid for doing something like that.
Ian dempster, Musselburgh

"Mine's a double" sends such a light-hearted message about a serious issue. Women should not be binge drinking, full stop. Getting oneself sloshed one night a week is bad as it is - the T-shirt gives the impression that getting drunk five nights a week is "okay". The message should be clear- binge drinking is bad, STOP.
Ju-Lee Sandhu, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's not demeaning to women specifically, but 99% of the population would read "mine's a double" as meaning "line them up, I'm a binge drinker". A very badly judged choice for a health-related campaign.
A Donaldson, London

Typical Aberdonians worried in case it meant them having to buy a double when a single could suffice, absolutely no sense of humour.
Scott, Dundee

My immediate reaction to a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Mine's A Double" would be that it was promoting drinking rather than abstinence. A good idea to have two days a week without drinking, but the T-shirt seems to promote a very different message.
Anon, Glasgow

When I read the slogan "Mines A Double" I immediately thought of alcoholic drinks. I don't really think it gives the message it's trying to give but I certainly don't think it's demeaning to women.
Abigail Anderson, Dublin, Ireland

My drinking is limited to half a glass of champagne at New Year's, so cutting down on the drinking isn't really an option. More seriously, yes, I do think the message on the T-shirts needs to be clearer.
Dorothy Rothschild, Fife

Of course it gives out a mixed message - and not only one mixed message but two. Only the Scottish Executive could have approved such a ridiculous message to discourage binge-drinking....'Oh yeah, Mine's a Double'. Absolutely pathetic.
Eleanor Quinn, Edinburgh

I do think the message on the T-shirt is a bit cheeky, but then again, it catches the eye and makes one think and, perhaps, even ask. The state of female (as well as male) drinking in the UK, in my opinion, is dangerous. Despite alcohol being consumed in classy locations, drinking still damages health, regardless of whether it is champagne or cheap Lambrini. I would wear a T-shirt and would definitely not be offended, whether it would make me cut down on my drinks I don't know. But then again, I do not consider myself a heavy drinker - one or two JD & Cokes a week (sometimes a fortnight) is not much. So for me "a double" would be two weeks rather than two days. Hey, I would give it a go, although to make it a challenge I'd have to make it two months.
Iana, Aberdeen

I think it is too ambiguous. I would have no idea that it had to do with reducing alcohol consumption. I wouldn't wear it. It wouldn't make me cut down - if anything it sounds like "Make mine a double" - as in a double shot of whiskey. Do you want women to increase their consumption? Bad choice of phrase try again.
Susan Craig, Brooklyn, NY, USA

What a waste of taxpayers' money. Why not tour schools and use shock tactics to show children of both sexes the long term damage alcohol does? In the long-run it would save the government and NHS a lot of money, it would also save lives.
Simon Armstrong, Edinburgh

I work as a medical researcher for a drama series and came across this article. I think this is a very clever marketing strategy and with it's subtlety aimed to specifically hit its target audience. And look - it has got people thinking...and talking.
Dee Collier, Dublin, Ireland

Yes, they do seem to suggest excess drinking rather than the opposite, but to criticise them for being pink because it's associated with breast cancer awareness is being daft. What next? Barbie being banned, or maybe salmon being forced to change colour.
Luke Senior, Batley, England

I work in Sydney within the field of community education relating to safe alcohol consumption practices. I am amazed that this slogan was ever approved for any promotional item. Certainly I am geographically removed from an awareness of its association with the health message being promoted via a national daily. However, obvious or hidden the connection, "Mine's A Double" could at best provide lewd material for the fertile minds of comedians at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival. I would be delighted to work with the relevant Scottish Executive staff to find a slogan that would reach their target audience more effectively without insulting the intellect of Scottish women (of which I am one). What a waste of public funds.
Meg Cunningham, Sydney, Australia

It seems to draw attention to a woman's chest and imply that she takes a double letter cup size and is therefore rather large of boobs.
Karen Barrett, Ashgill, Lanarkshire

A slogan "Mines A Double" across the chest of a woman would lead me to think they were talking about their bra size, i.e. Double D. Especially with cheeky slogan T-shirts all the rage.
Christy Nevin, London

I find it absurd that this could even become news. I have a solution though. Lets ban all jokes and double entendres in case it offends the moronic. To describe these T-shirts as potentially "demeaning to women" is utterly disgusting. This kind of nonsense just serves to weaken the standpoint of those who point out things which actually ARE demeaning to women.
Martin McDonald, Cumbernauld

Nobody in Aberdeen will see the T-shirts under the thermal jackets, it's too cold here.
Bill Muir, Aberdeen

These shirts are a great way of reaching younger people. We must remember that they need to be fun and fashionable to have appeal with those to whom the message is intended to reach. Pink is fashionable for women so why shouldn't the shirts be this colour? Good on the executive for taking a modern approach to the problem and one which is likely to address the real issues.
E Taylor, Dunfermline, Fife

I realise that the purposes of a marketing slogan is to attract the target audience and ensure they remember the message, however, this is extremely dubious and fails in it's approach. The message about having two days off from alcohol is completely lost and the slogan "Mine's a double" written across the chest is demeaning to women. It is an unfortunate waste of money that could have been better spent through local campaigns where local Alcohol Action Teams have a much better understanding of their target audience.
Emma Jones, West Lothian

I can see how this would offend. They could always get round accusations of sexism by producing a male version with the logo - "Mine's a small one". Can't see that happening though.
Mark Craig, Glasgow

I think we can see how seriously the BBC is taking this story with the slightly smug and tacky double-entendre in the title of this article "T-shirts in double-meaning boob". Grow up BBC. As for the T-shirts, I think this is a case of what seemed like a good idea during a brainstorming meeting at Victoria Quay being shown up for another government clanger in the cold light of day. There are several mixed messages in the design of these T-shirts and withdrawing them is the sensible thing to do. The campaign is important and this only serves as a distraction.
Colin W, Edinburgh

The Scottish Executive missed a great opportunity to engage with young women on the issue of binge-drinking. These T-shirts are unclear and could be viewed as offensive. West Lothian Drug Action Team produced a much more valid resource in the shape of a pink handbag providing young women with advice, local contact details and tips for safer drinking.
Linda Ritchie, Livingston

Unless I have totally mis-read this article, the T-shirt design appears to be promoting exactly the opposite from what is supposed to. It says "I want to drink double measures and get totally plastered" and I have no doubt that it would sell very well because it is cheeky and will appeal to people who like going out and getting very drunk - the very people that the campaign is trying to dissuade from drinking. If they can come up with something as cheeky or catchy that actually promotes NOT drinking, then it would be a good idea.
Tessa, Edinburgh

Considering the executive's past record it's no surprise they managed to get this one wrong as well. Besides anyone who has been out in Aberdeen will tell you that everybody will be far too drunk to read or simply understand the message anyway.
Kevin, Aberdeen

Inspired!!!
Chris, Glasgow

Why are so many of today's adverts downright demeaning to most adults, treating us almost like children? What is wrong with just giving out honest, to the point, unambiguous information? What did we do before the nanny state took over our very existence?
Ian, Leven, Fife

I immediately thought it was a reference to a double cup bra size, but maybe that says more about me than I'd like to admit....
Tom, Forfar

The phrase "Mine's A Double" is most often said when someone WANTS a drink; to attempt to turn it into its opposite meaning, especially without a huge amount of back-up publicity and pre-awareness campaigns, was misguided to say the least. Whilst puns and double-entendres can certainly make for catchy slogans, in this particular case it would have been better to avoid the drink reference altogether. Surely a better pun could have been arrived at on the theme of abstinence or going without, which is the real message of the campaign.
Rob, London, UK

Of course the message is ambiguous! If you were unaware of this specific campaign it is a certainty that they will be interpreted as promoting binge-drinking. What will these idiots think of next?
Rachael, Edinburgh

I think the T-shirt would not prompt safe drinking - just be a laugh for girls to wear out and probably end up with them getting even more drinks bought in double-measures for them.
Dianne, Brechin, Scotland

Don't know what's going on up there but it sounds Crazzzzzyyyy to me. Puts me in the mood for a double.
Derek, Falkirk

What a ridiculous idea. It's message is clearly "I want a large drink". "Mine's Not A Double" would have been better.
Stuart Jones, Reading, Berkshire, England

Perhaps it would've been better if the T-shirts had had the "I'm giving my body two days off alcohol" slogan on the front underneath "mine's a double" or on the back, instead of on the sleeve where no-one's going to take any notice of it.
Maz, Perthshire, Scotland

What do you expect from the ignorant, arrogant, small-minded, petty control freaks from JADAT?
Bill Murray, Aberdeen

You'd have to be stark raving mad (or in the Scottish Executive) to think that the wording would be interpreted as intended.
Robert Greig, Aberdeen

If you are the type of person who gets offended by a T-shirt, you probably shouldn't be out by yourself, much less be out in a pub. On a more serious note, I am annoyed at the comments from the JADAT spokesperson. It's a bit naive to suggest wearing a T-shirt could demean the wearer?
Ewan, UK

The slogan fails to get across an unambiguous message in a manner requiring no further explanation. "Mine's a double" is, of course, an instruction to a barman, or a person buying you a drink. To pretend that it means having two days off drinking is far too contrived for a T-shirt campaign.
Bridget, London, UK

One comment to make...Who cares?
Stuart, Aberdeen

It doesn't surprise me that the Scottish Executive has made a pig's ear of the safe drinking campaign. Almost everything they do is either botched or fudged. They should spend their time and OUR money in more productive ways. The whole idea was pointless anyway. I fail to see how a T-shirt is going to stop women binge-drinking. The person who thought the idea up was most probably drunk at the time.
Andrew Fallon, Perth, Scotland

Is it okay to drink five nights a week then?
Robin Johnson, Leicester, England




SEE ALSO:
Scots' excess drink cost 1.1bn
28 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Binge drinking link to rapes rise
17 Sep 04 |  Scotland


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