Tougher code may force new alcopops ban

The Portman Group is debating whether it must re-open adjudications on certain controversial alco-pops in the light of its new, stricter code.

The drinks watchdog must decide whether it should re-investigate brands which were criticised by groups such as trading standards officers for being marketed at children, but which were ruled not to break the original code by the group’s independent complaints panel. They may now fall foul of the tighter controls implemented on September 1.

David Poley, head of policy at the Portman Group, says: “This is something we have yet to decide on. We have had some internal discussions about it.” He says the final decision will be made by the panel.

Last month, IDV voluntarily submitted its premium-packaged spirits brands such as Smirnoff Mule and Malibu Spice to the watchdog for new approval under the stricter code. Tony Scouller, acting managing director of IDV, says: “We wanted to be able to reassure our trade customers.”

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