The Federation Internationale des Vins et Spiriteux (International Federation of Wines and Spirits - FIVS) has decided to follow the Wine and Spirit Association's recommendation of putting together a code of practice for the responsible marketing of drinks, the WSA said today.

The code of practice will provide guidance on topics such as naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks, and is likely to follow the provisions set by the Portman Group's Code, which was adopted by the UK industry in 1996.

In addition, FIVS will examine codes around the world, including those being adopted in other countries in the EU as a result of the efforts of the Amsterdam Group. Amongst other stipulations, the Portman Group's Code forbids packaging and branding which could encourage drinking to excess, which could attract underage drinkers or which links drinking to sexual success or to illegal drugs.

Quentin Rappoport, director of the WSA, comments: "We are very pleased that our recommendation has been taken on board by FIVS members, who unanimously approved the motion at their last meeting. It is very important that the industry is seen to be opposing alcohol misuse and supporting sensible drinking, and this is a fundamental part of the strategy.

"Experience has shown that voluntary Codes mitigate in favour of harmonisation without incurring the dead hand of legislation, and - more importantly - they put the onus on traders to keep their house in order. Governments should welcome them, and they should be common currency throughout the global trading community," said Rappoport.