The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Social Junkies flyer ‘makes light of alcoholism’

Controversial promoters’ “Fit Alcoholics” slogan under fire


A Social Junkies flyer which “glamourises drunkenness” has led to action from Manchester City Council.

The flyer, advertising the Wednesday night event ‘Rehab’ at The Birdcage venue, bore the slogan ‘Fit Alcoholics #CheckIn’.

Flyers were distributed through doors of student accommodation, and feature the logos of both Social Junkies and The Birdcage.

Home Office rules, as per the Mandatory Licensing Conditions of April 2010, state that promoters “cannot use materials or signs on or near to [their] premises to advertise promotions there if they condone, encourage or glamourise anti-social behaviour or refer to getting drunk in any positive way.”

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “We are concerned by any promotions in the city that might seek to glamourise drunkenness.

“All licensed premises in Manchester have to meet a requirement that there shall be no irresponsible promotions of alcohol.”

“We will now be discussing the contents of this flyer with the licence holder at The Birdcage to ensure they are complying with this.”

When contacted via telephone, a Social Junkies spokesman said there was no-one available for comment.

As well as potentially falling foul of the law, the promotion also offended students.

One student, who asked not to be named, told The Mancunion that he felt the marketing campaign “made light of alcoholism”.

“My family have had to deal with issues with alcohol in the past,” the student said, “and it’s the worst thing you can imagine.”

“I get so annoyed when I see people take the piss like this.”

“People don’t understand it’s a disease,” they continued.

“You wouldn’t see flyers making light of cancer, but why is it okay when it’s about alcoholism?”

Andrew Misell, Manager of charity Alcohol Concern, told The Mancunion that event organisers and promoters should “give some thought to sensitivities around alcohol addiction.”

“Anyone who’s experienced alcoholism amongst their family or friends is unlikely to consider it a suitable way to market a drinking event,” he added.

Last month, The Mancunion reported how The Birdcage lost its weeknight license after a fight at the ‘Rehab’ event, during which a knife was used, left four injured.

The club later regained their weekday license after a review hearing.  ‘Rehab’ returned to the venue on the 27th February.

The Birdcage were unavailable for comment.

  • Mancunion


  • Joe

    In the nicest way possible, who cares?

    I honestly don’t know why the Mancunion has such a vendetta against social junkies. Honestly, most people couldn’t care less. There are more important issues in the world.

  • Louis

    Joe I agree. Thanks for the publicity Mancunion. It is very kind of you.

  • Manchester Nights Out

    The Mancunion seems to have a problem with all promotion of nights The flyer isn’t really making light or trivialising the serious issue of alcoholism, but speaking on a level that as students we do refer to our drinking habits.

  • Lisa Williams

    What about the name “Hit & Run”? And also, what about the name “Dry Hump?” It’s even actively advertised on the UMSU website..http://manchesterstudentsunion

  • george

    any publicity is good publicity just saying

  • Olly

    Lisa Williams too true, Maybe The Mancunion should be less concerned about the Alcoholism at Rehab and more concerned with the Drug abuse which routinely takes place at Pangea?

    Personally i think Disorderly Conduct are also promoting negative behaviour with their events name….. wonder if they’ll ever be mentioned in the Mancunion or is that sort of publicity reserved for Social Junkies nights.

    • Manchester Nights Out

      Olly, I agree with you, but Disorderly conduct actually changed their name to Orderly Conduct just before they launched to avoid being associated with promoting Anti-social behaviour. :)

      • Tom

        The Facebook page is still very much called Disorderly, I would post the link but don’t think anyone is really interested in it. Everyone knows its all about The Cookie Jar on a Friday, although perhaps they’ll be accused of promoting obesity….

  • Rid

    If I’m being honest, I have been to ‘ORDERLY CONDUCT’ every week since it started and can openly say it is possibly the only event in Manchester I have been to and not seen any fights break out or had any trouble what so ever. I’d concentrate on your own events negative publicity rather than trying to drag down the success of a new night. Jealousy is a fickle.

  • Luke Burgess

    Jay Z apparently had 99 problems, the University has £25 million problems in one ‘amazing, modern learning commons’ yet the mancunian decides that A FLYER is of utmost importance. Why waste your time of this article and actually look at some of the serious issues happening at the university such as why a brand spanking new £25 million pound building is falling apart like a house made of ice cream in the middle of the Sahara desert?

    • Luke Burgess

      Sorry i stand corrected £24 Million pound building, wouldn’t want anyone to have a go at me for that mistake


    Surprised that this article didn’t pick up on the fact that these promoters refer to themselves as “junkies”!