Portman Group increases calls for sensible drinking messages in ads

Alcohol manufacturers will come under increased pressure from the industry’s self regulatory body the Portman Group to promote the message of sensible drinking in all their advertising and marketing campaigns.

The Portman Group is conducting research on how to promote sensible drinking messages in a more “hard-hitting” manner. The self regulatory body will urge manufacturers to link all brand advertising with messages about safe drinking, instead of adding “one-liners” in small print about sensible drinking.

The Portland Group also plans to invite alcohol manufacturers to help carry out the research.

The news follows last week’s launch of Scottish Courage’s Deco, a bottle of Kronenbourg lager with a shot of absinthe attached to it, which campaigners such as Alcohol Concern say could encourage drinking “just to get drunk fast”.

Scottish Courage launched the product in bars and clubs of Soho, London.Deco will go on sale nationwide in clubs and bars next month at about &£5 a bottle.

Recently the Portman Group forced fashion retailer French Connection to abandon its flavoured alcoholic beverage FCUK Spirit, because the FCUK brand appeals too strongly to youngsters under 18 (MW May 22). Drinks retailers have been asked not to stock the product.

FCUK Spirit, a vodka-based drink, was launched two years ago when French Connection teamed up with distributor Matthew Clark Brands to market the product (MW October 4, 2001).

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