Portman Group launches alcohol marketing code review

Portman Group launches alcohol marketing code review

The Portman Group has launched a three-month consultation to garner opinion on how to update its marketing code of practice for alcoholic drinks.

The UK drinks industry's self-regulatory body is considering whether to expand the code's reach and whether the current code is still fit for purpose. Announcing the consultation yesterday (13 October), Portman said that reponses should be submitted by 13 January.

Its decision to review the code comes amid pressure from the Government for the UK's alcohol industry to play a greater role in encouraging responsible drinking in the country. The review is one of several drinks industry pledges within the Government's Responsibility Deal on alcohol, announced earlier this year.

Portman said that "everyone who has an interest in responsible alcohol marketing" should respond to its consultation. The review questions whether the code should be extended to cover public relations campaigns and retailer promotions, whether all suggestions of sex should be banned in adverts and whether to loosen restrictions on promoting the alcoholic strength of a drink to help companies better promote lower-strength products.

UK health minister Andrew Lansley, who recently addressed the Wine & Spirit Trade Assocation annual conference, said of the Portman review: "We need to make real changes to the way alcohol is sold and consumed in this country.

"It is important that the alcohol industry markets their products responsibly. The Portman Group Code is well recognised as a good example of self-regulation and we welcome the timely review of these rules as part of the Responsibility Deal."

Portman's CEO, Henry Ashworth, added: "The marketing environment we live in is under constant change and it is important that the code contains no regulatory gaps going forward."

To see the consultation document, click here.