UK: Watchdog sharpens teeth over drinks marketing
The drinks industry's own watchdog, The Portman Group, has unveiled a clampdown on what it sees as irresponsible promotions, sponsorship deals, websites and branded merchandise by alcohol producers as fears over underage drinking continue to increase.
The Group has revised its Code of Practice on marketing standards to combat under-age drinking and alcohol misuse.
In 1996 the Portman Group issued a code to curb the promotion of alcopops. Yesterday's changes, the first since then, extend the code to wider promotional activity.
The Portman Group's director, Jean Coussins said: "The Code has been a very effective piece of self-regulation for the past six years. We have swept over 60 products off the market because their design appealed to children or encouraged anti-social behaviour.
"Now we are plugging another regulation gap and extending the Code to wider promotional activity. For example, teddy bears and other children's toys bearing alcoholic drinks branding will not be acceptable. Neither will brand websites that encourage dangerous drinking games.
"We have also tightened up the rules on products' naming and packaging. Alcoholic drinks masquerading as foodstuffs' such as jellies or iced shapes, will have to comply with the Code's requirements, as will draught drinks.
"In line with the rules on advertising, alcoholic drinks will no longer be able to be packaged or promoted in a way which suggests bravado, sexual or social success or popularity."
Companies: The Portman Group
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