A pub has been criticised for putting up a sign that encouraged its male customers to get their dates drunk.

The sign, put on the front of the bar at the Hand and Spear pub in Weybridge, said: “If at first you do not succeed buy her another beer”.

A picture of it was sent to the Elmbridge Guardian by a woman who was drinking in the pub on May 7.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I thought the sign was totally inappropriate, that’s why I took the picture.

“Pubs have a duty to ensure people drink responsibly and to imply you should get a woman drunk to sleep with her is pretty distasteful and massively unprofessional.”

The sign has since been taken down and a member of the pub’s management apologised for any offence it caused.

He said: “It was a member of staff getting a bit over zealous. It was completely inappropriate.”

Sonja Freebody, from the Surrey Rape and Sexual Support Centre (RASASC), said the organisation would contact the pub.

She said: “The RASASC is glad to hear that the pub has removed the sign so promptly and we are sure the staff will be more thoughtful in the future.

“It is wrong to imply that to encourage a woman to drink more might lead her to change her mind about her real sexual choice. We must not encourage men to believe that they should try to get women drunk. Men should be aware of the laws of consent and that any sexual advance may be seen as assault or rape.

“One in four people will experience sexual assault during their lifetime and this includes men and women. People should be able to have a social drink, relax and enjoy themselves without fear or regret.”

Councillor Ian Donaldson, who is chairman of the licensing committee at Elmbridge Council, said: “The sign might have been put up as a humorous notice, but I deplore anything that could be taken as encouraging men to take advantage of women. It also encourages excessive drinking, which is already a problem we have in Elmbridge.

“I trust there will not be a repeat of any such comments on the pub’s chalk boards.”

What do you think of the sign? Was it inappropriate, or a harmless bit of fun? Whatever your view, use the form below to let us know...