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T.G.I. Friday's: Buy dad a beer on Facebook

CARROLLTON, Texas, June 9 (UPI) -- Texas-based restaurant chain T.G.I. Friday's is suggesting Father's Day revelers use the eatery's Facebook application to "buy your dad a round of beer."

Nick Shepherd, president of Friday's parent company Carlson Restaurants, said the new "Buy Your Friend a Beer" Facebook app lets users who are at least 21-years-old send electronic gift cards to their Facebook friends, USA Today reported Thursday.

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"We're talking to a different generation," Shepherd said. "It's a way for people to connect with Friday's using Facebook."

The gift cards can be printed or displayed on a smart phone screen at any of the 600 Friday's restaurants in the United States.

"This Father's Day, why not buy your dad a round of beer?" the restaurant asks on its Web site.

Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director of the alcohol marketing watchdog Marin Institute, described the app as "horrifying."

"This is part of a growing trend to use Facebook and other social media to promote alcohol sales to youth," he said.

Friday's officials said anyone using the gift cards for beer would be carded to ensure they are at least 21. They said the cards can also be used for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

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