Industry not keen on placement plan

Industry not keen on placement plan

Plans to allow alcoholic drinks firms to pay to have their products visible in television programmes look set to be scrapped.

Senior Government ministers oppose a plan to legalise product placement for alcoholic drinks, as well as soft drinks with high sugar levels, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper yesterday (4 February).

Drinks industry leaders do not expect product placement to be legalised for any television programmes.

With the industry's self regulatory body on marketing, the Portman Group, publicly cautious on the idea, it appears the Government proposal will go no further.

"Our advice to Government was that allowing product placement for alcohol was fraught with risk," said Portman chief executive David Poley late yesterday (4 February).

"We don’t want to see unhealthy drinking portrayals on television. Unless the Government is certain that it can be properly regulated, product placement for alcohol shouldn't go ahead," he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, denied that a final decision has been made: "We are looking at all responses in relation to the consultation and we will be making an announcement shortly."

just-drinks understands that the drinks industry is not keen to be seen lobbying for what some would perceive as a relaxation of alcohol marketing rules - at a time when alcohol-related harm is so high on the public agenda.

Health groups, naturally, are against new rules allowing drinks firms to pay a levy to get their products used ahead of rivals' on television shows.