Canadian actor Dan Akroyd has launched his own brand of vodka called Crystal Head. The liquor comes in a fiendish glass skull,
which has apparently incurred the wrath of the Liquor Control Board of
Ontario (LCBO), which controls all liquor sales in Akroyd's home
province. The LCBO says it will refuse to sell
Crystal Head, explaining, "The image of the human skull is the thing
that's really problematic for us. That's an image that's commonly
associated with death."
- Akroyd Responds Dan Akroyd is laughing off
the effective ban, saying, "I like it, it kind of makes the product
more appealing in my view. ... This is a decision that's been made
reflecting the appeal of the product, because the board is rightly
concerned that under-aged drinkers may go to illegitimate means to
obtain a bottle of Crystal Head, maybe steal it or whatever."
your take on the insidious power of the monopoly liquor system, you
have to grant [LCBO official] Mr. Layton his point. The LCBO has banned
or delisted other questionable packages, arguably to the public's
benefit, including sexually degrading labels depicting topless women and
a vodka brand called Kalishnikov that was presented for sale in a
bottle shaped like an AK-47 assault rifle.
But a smiling skull? I
find it kind of cute.
Plus, if British Columbia's experience
with the product is any indication, this may be a tempest in a decanter.
BC Liquor Stores have been selling Crystal Head since March, 2009, and
have received no public complaints about the spirit or its packaging,
said Tarina Palmer, spokeswoman for the British Columbia Liquor
- This Is Censorship and Paternalism
Reason's Jacob Sullum laments "public health paternalists"
controlling what consumers can buy. "Applied by a provincial
agency that serves as the liquor gatekeeper for all of Ontario,
these judgments are a form of state-imposed censorship."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.