Thursday, March 3, 2011

Alcohol pt. IV: Pints for Pints

It turns out not everyone is comfortable with the monetizing value of alcohol:
A Clinton Hill brewer who was set to generate gallons in blood donations by giving away pints of his beer as an incentive was snubbed at the last minute by blood bureaucrats who questioned the “taste” of his alcohol-fueled initiative.

For the second time in as many years, the New York Blood Center pulled out of a much-hyped Kelso of Brooklyn blood drive, citing a policy that forbids using “alcohol as a donor incentive.”

“It’s so puritanical,” said Kelly Taylor, the brewmaster who hatched the plan, but now must leave Brooklyn do-gooders high and dry. “It’s not like I’m trading blood for crack.”

The March 4 drive was simple enough: Give a pint of your blood; get a coupon for a pint of Taylor’s craft brew. But that concept was apparently too edgy for honchos at the blood center, who told Taylor in a last-minute phone call on Monday that the exchange is “in bad taste” and “a liability.”

“We have to be careful about what kind of ‘thank-yous’ can be given,” said Jim Fox, a spokesperson for the center. “There’s some sensitivity surrounding alcohol because 25 percent of our donations come from high schools.”

The trouble started during a “blood emergency” two years ago, when Taylor launched the “Beer Helps” promo. The Blood Center signed on, but backed down after a prominent local paper made — gasp! — a joke about how easy it was to get a beer buzz with depleted veins.
Ah yes. I forgot that some organizations aren't so desperate for cash that they can turn aside the lure to charge full throated into the promotion of alcohol. (Previous thoughts here, here, here, and here)