Portman Group hires public health expert as CEO

Alcohol industry body The Portman Group has appointed one of Whitehall’s top “nudge theory” experts, Henry Ashworth, as its chief executive.


Ashworth joins from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team, which is tasked with finding ways to realise the government’s preferred “nudge” approach to public health policy – helping people make the right choices for themselves rather than forcing them to through regulation.

His appointment comes as The Portman Group – funded by the industry’s nine biggest producers – steps up efforts to work in partnership with government to promote responsible consumption.

It has been coordinating the industry’s response to the Government’s responsibility deal with the industry. It recently wrote to producers to encourage implementation of the labelling commitments made as part of the alcohol industry’s responsibility deal with government.

A consultation to tighten its marketing code of practice will launch later this year.

Prior to the Cabinet Office, Ashworth led alcohol and obesity policy for two years as part of the “Better Regulation Executive” setup to analyse the effectiveness of current regulation.

He replaces David Poley who has stepped down after five years in the job. It is not yet known if he has a job to go to.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big 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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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