Alcohol industry promotes marketing codes

Alcohol industry body the Portman Group has launched a campaign to raise awareness of its code on marketing standards and complaints process

The press activity focuses on the rule stating that alcohol marketers should only show people drinking in advertisements if they both are and look at least 25 years old.

David Poley, chief executive, of the Portman Group, which is funded by nine member companies including Diageo and Inbev UK, says the body wants to ensure consumers “know the rules and how to complain”.

He adds it chose to highlight the 25 year-old rule because it was one of the “lesser known restrictions”.

The Portman Group’s code sets minimum, mandatory standards for all alcohol naming, packaging, brand websites, sponsorships and sampling.

The campaign comes as pressure mounts on the alcohol industry to clamp down on what some say is irresponsible marketing. Last month, the British Medical Association called for a complete ban on alcohol advertising in a bid to tackle misuse among young people.

The Government has also proposed a new mandatory code of practice which could see and an end to irresponsible price promotions, while forcing supermarkets to display information on the health impacts of alcohol.

The industry recently launched its own attempt to change attitudes towards binge drinking and drunkenness among young people, the £100m “Campaign for Smarter Drinking” was developed by 45 companies in partnership with industry-funded charity Drinkaware and the Government.


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