Leeds fury over Tetley's Huntsman logo

A major new advertising campaign to promote Tetley's cask ale to the people of Leeds has been branded a "sick joke".

Billboards on roadside and bus shelters across the city show Tetley's Huntsman icon stating 'Join me' as Carlsberg UK have brought back the image to champion its classic real ale.

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But protesters say it's a blatant attempt by the brewing giant to claw back local customers as it presses ahead with plans to close Tetley's Leeds brewery with the loss of up to 170 jobs.

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The cask ale has been brewed in Leeds since 1822, but in recent years the Huntsman became less of a focus for the brand as its hunting theme was deemed too controversial.

Greg Mulholland MP (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) has already called on Leeds people to boycott Carlsberg lager.

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He told the YEP: "This advertising campaign is a sick joke.

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"Just a matter of weeks after Carlsberg announced that they will be ending Tetley's proud 188-year history of brewing in Leeds, they are now trying to dupe people that the brand is returning to its roots by using the very popular Huntsman logo."

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Carlsberg is to close down the Leeds-based Tetley brewery in 2011 and is shifting its cask ale production operations to Wolverhampton-based brewers Marstons.

Its Tetley's Smoothflow will be brewed in Tadcaster.

Tony Jenkins, Vice Chair of Leeds CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) said: "Given that Carlsberg's recent announcement that they are moving production to Wolverhampton, I think it's rather ironic that they seem suddenly to be attempting to capitalise on the Tetley's heritage.

"It says the year 1822 on this poster which just emphasises that Carlsberg have decided to kill nearly 200 years of Leeds brewing tradition.

"At least they have recognised the resentment that the move will cause and are finally marketing their real ales; perhaps if they had done this sooner there would have been no need to close the brewery."

Despite repeated attempts to contact the company, no-one was available from Carlsberg UK to comment.