An Auckland bar is turning heads after one of their advertising chalkboards controversially promotes alcoholism.

Takapuna Bar, known for their crafty adverts, has depicted children's TV character Barney the Dinosaur as an alcoholic who can't handle his drinking.

In the chalked advert, Barney is seen holding a beer bottle, saying "I love booze. Booze loves me. Holy sh**t I have to pee. I'm so drunk I'm falling on the floor. Alcoholic dinosaur".

While many punters have enjoyed the "humorous" advert, a number of disgruntled parents have expressed their dissatisfaction over the gag.


One parent told the Herald the advert is "inappropriate" and believes using a popular children's character to promote alcohol and alcoholism is irresponsible.

"It's disgusting. A bar shouldn't be using a TV character children all identify with to encourage binge drinking and general alcoholism.

"New Zealand has a bad binge-drinking culture and to normalise it while making the advert attention-grabbing to children is irresponsible."

Another said: "I'm not so sure advocating alcoholism is a good marketing scheme for a bar."

However, many punters and parents have thrown their support behind the bar.

Those supporting the bar say the gag has encouraged them to dine at Takapuna Bar while others have praised the company's humour.

One mother told the Herald: " I don't have a problem with it and wouldn't have any issue with my child seeing it.

"It's just funny, that's all. People need to lighten up a little. Your kid isn't going to end up an alcoholic because of a chalk drawing of a drunk Barney outside a pub.


"The more you make things taboo, the worse it is. If my child asked a question because of it, it'd be a great opportunity for an educational moment."

One person said, "This is what I love about New Zealand - you people get humour" while another wrote, "Time to go to Takapuna Bar".

Takapuna Bar has yet to respond to the Herald's request for comment.

The Advertising Standards Authority told the Herald it cannot comment on specific advertisements, but referred us to their Code for Advertising and Promoting Alcohol and Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act website.

According to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 it is an "irresponsible promotion of alcohol" if a business or person "does anything that encourages people, or is likely to encourage people, to consume alcohol to an excessive extent."

Principle 3 of the Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol states "alcohol advertising and promotions shall not be directed at minors nor have strong or evident appeal to minors in particular".