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Neo
7th December 2011, 07:58 AM
A booze company has been slammed after it was caught bribing students to give blood in return for free alcohol.

Cash-strapped teens flocked to a temporary blood bank in order to get their hands on free Turbo shandy a potent mix of four per cent alcoholic lemonade and lager.

Pictures of the event were spotted on the company's Facebook page, which show reps from the Turbo company handing out cases of the shandy to students.

A Facebook group advertised the event at a church in Leeds saying: "Do something good and we'll reward you!

"If you're in LEEDS on FRIDAY 25th November head down to Armley Methodists Church (LS12 3TL) from 2.30pm and GIVE BLOOD!

"Groups of 4 or more who donate blood will receive a free Case of TURBO SHANDY (offer is limited, so be quick!) pls repost to book your free booze!"
The message is accompanied by a mock up of the Lord Kitchener poster, the iconic recruitment image of the First World War.

The students merely had to sign up online before they turned up to give blood and were given the alcohol outside the blood bank.

The warped campaign comes after a government report highlighted a massive rise in under-30s dying from alcohol abuse.

Consultants have written an open letter calling on the Government to introduce new curbs on alcohol advertising to protect young people, warning that Britain is facing an epidemic of liver disease caused by a binge drinking culture and cheap booze.

The North East has been hit particularly hard with figures showing a 400 per cent increase in the number of hospital admissions for people in their early 30s with alcoholic liver disease.

Leeds has one of the country's largest student populations.

A local, who wished to remain unnamed, said: "Targeting young people with alcohol sales is never a good idea and they are never going to tone it down are they?

"But to do it in this way is despicable especially when you hear in the news about more and more young people dying as a result of alcohol abuse.

"This is only encouraging students to drink more and we get enough trouble with drunk young people.

"It is in sick taste targeting youngsters with the drink as a promotion vehicle.

"The NHS is not there to be abused for some cheap publicity."

A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Donating blood is a completely altruistic act and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) does not welcome or condone this sort of promotional activity in association with the generous act of donation."

The Cumbrian-based Turbo Drinks company has been plugging its drink on Twitter with the message: "No more messy mixing it yourself....but you still have a messy night out!"

Last night, company spokesman Nigel Tarn admitted the promotion had been a huge error of judgement.

He said: "We employ numerous freelance staff and require them to create their own promotions.

"One of them naively thought that by doing the promotion they would be highlighting the shortage of blood and ensuring new donors.

"We now recognise this to have been in poor taste and have terminated the campaign."