Replica sports kit for children will no longer be allowed to carry alcohol branding, under proposed changes to the drinks industry’s self regulatory code on marketing.
The Portman Group, the industry-funded body that administers the code, is currently revising it. When it launched the consultation process last year, it specifically asked for comments on the replica kit issue, as well as on age verification for alcohol related websites, the promotion of slammers and shooters and the current rules on linking drinking alcohol with sexual prowess or success.
The Portman Group council meets tomorrow (Thursday) and it is understood that it will be asked to approve a ban on drinks logos on children’s sports kit, a requirement that all UK alcohol-related websites must have an age verification page, and a ban on shooters, slammers and similar serving tactics that encourage the consumption of large quantities of alcohol quickly.
A Portman Group spokesman refused to confirm what changes were likely to be proposed. If the council does accept any changes, then a new version of the code will be drafted and presented to the council for approval, probably in May.
The advertising and marketing of alcoholic drinks is overseen by two bodies. The Portman Group code covers trade marketing, packaging and naming and websites; television, radio, press, poster and other above-the-line activity is covered by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Even if The Portman Group does further restrict drinks marketing, it is unlikely to satisfy anti-alcohol lobby groups. Last week, Professor Ian Gilmore, incoming president of the Royal College of Physicians, called for the phased introduction of a total ban on alcoholic drinks advertising, including sports sponsorship. (www.marketingweek.co.uk February 23)Analysis, page 10