The head of Pernod Ricard's UK business has reportedly accused rival wine producers of promoting misleading "half-price" discount deals.

Jean-Manuel Spriet, chief executive of Pernod Ricard UK, has told The Guardian newspaper that producers introduced the deals amid pressure from retailers.

"They (other wine suppliers) make the wines designed for sale at GBP3.99 (US$7.53), introduce them at a higher price, and then bring the price down," Spriet told The Guardian today (14 August) "They start at GBP7.99 and are discounted down to half-price, which is crazy."

Spriet's comments come as UK competition watchdogs investigate the power of the country's big four supermarkets. Last month, UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle attacked retailers for encouraging irresponsible drinking and selling alcohol at below cost-price.

Spriet told The Guardian: "Consumers know they are getting misled ... they get used to it. At the end of the day, it just leads to the impoverishment of the wine trade."