Portman Group names first external chair

Alcohol industry body The Portman Group has named Seymour Fortescue, former head of marketing at Barclays, as its first external chairman.

Wine drinker

The group, which is funded by the nine major drinks producers, has previously appointed chairman from drinks company executives on its council but is now seeking “independent leadership on marketing and social responsibility standards for drinks producers”.

The appointment comes at a time when the group, which regulates the marketing of all UK drinks companies, is under pressure from alcohol charities and some MPs to impose tighter restrictions on drinks advertisers.

Fortescue says he is looking “forward to working closely with other groups to build a consensus around actions that promote responsible attitudes to alcohol”.

He replaces Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors.

Fortescue spent 26 years at Barclays in senior roles including head of marketing and chief executive of Barclaycard.

Most recently, he was chief executive of financial services self-regulatory body, the Banking Code Standards Board for seven years before retiring in 2006.

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