Burkitt moots food version of Portman

Marketing Society chief executive Hugh Burkitt is calling for a Portman Group-style body to regulate the food industry in an attempt to prevent government intervention. He suggests the setting up of an organisation funded by food companies that recognise the importance of their commercial freedom, while tackling the obesity problem associated with junk food.

His views follow the publication of the Health White Paper, Choosing Health, last week, which indicates that the food industry will have two years to act on junk-food advertising before the Government steps in to restrict it through legislation (MW last week).

“It will be a good idea to set up a body like the Portman Group to establish consensus on food labelling and responsible advertising. The Portman Group talks directly to consumers to encourage sensible drinking and has a disciplinary role for the drinks industry, which is what the food industry needs,” says Burkitt. He adds that the food sector needs an independent body to promote healthy living; to encourage responsible marketing; and to regulate initiatives such as labelling.

The Portman Group was set up in 1989 to help prevent alcohol misuse. It supports the industry, government and consumers with research, educational material and campaigns on responsible drinking.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here