The Portman Group has ruled in favour of a brewer following a complaint from a member of the public in the UK.

The trade body, which considers complaints about advertising for alcoholic drinks, said today (28 May) that a promotional offer run by Greene King did not breach its code of practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.

Greene King's promotion, which ran in January, offered consumers a free pint if they purchased three pints of beer. The consumer was given a collector card on which they were required to obtain a member of staff's signature as proof of purchase of each of the three pints in order to claim their free pint.

The complainant had claimed the offer "encouraged immoderate consumption".

Greene King defended its promotion by noting that, previously, such offers normally included a standard condition stating: "A maximum of two signatures can be obtained per person per session." On this occasion, however, the company had omitted to include this condition on promotional material. Greene King maintained, however, that this did not cause the promotion to be irresponsible and that it would encourage and expect participating licensees to observe the law and not serve anyone who was drunk.

"The (Independent Complaints) Panel decided that nothing in the promotional material encouraged consumers to drink four pints in one session," said Portman's chief executive, David Poley. "Our code regulates drinks producer promotions including any run in conjunction with retailers."

The panel noted that the collector-card mechanic of this promotion meant that a consumer was not compelled to purchase and/or consume an excessive volume of alcohol in a single session.