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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 20.08.2022, 05:22

Lithuania's abbots slam monk Svyturys-Utenos beer ad

Danuta Pavilenene, BC, Vilnius, 10.02.2011.Print version
Catholic monks in Lithuania are up in arms over a beer advert depicting their brethren raising glasses, saying it tarnishes their image and could encourage a boozy lifestyle. The Baltic state's association of abbots said monks felt "insulted and trampled on" by a leading Lithuanian brewery's use of the image of Franciscan friars to promote its ale.

"This affects and distorts the image of monks in Lithuania," the association said in a statement, urging the company to pull the advert and warning of street rallies if it failed to act.


The outdoor billboard was to promote a beer produced by the country's biggest brewer, Svyturys-Utenos alus, which is majority owned by Danish brewing giant Carlsberg.


But Lithuania's conference of monks and nuns said in a statement they felt "insulted and trampled upon" by the advertisement and had written to the brewer to protest.


The brewery apologised and said it would stop the advertisement immediately. It said it had used the monk's image to highlight links to a historical legacy of medieval monks producing beer.


At a recent launch event for the beer – ironically made using an ancestral recipe dreamed up by German monks – participants were served by actors wearing monks' habits.


The Church has clout in Lithuania, where more than 80% of the 3.2-million-strong population is Roman Catholic, writes LETA/ELTA, referring to AFP.


Besides worrying about the impact on its members' reputation, the abbots' association said it stood for temperance and a sober and healthy nation.


"We are not in favour of making everyone an abstainer, but the aim of boosting alcohol sales at any cost is immoral," it explained.


According to official data, Lithuanians drank the equivalent of 10.9 litres of pure alcohol per head in 2009.

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