Deadline for Portman Group consultation into alcohol marketing approaches

The Portman Group is calling for people to submit their final responses about changes to the Code of Practice for responsible alcohol marketing, with the consultation deadline tomorrow.

The consultation on the Code of Practice for the Responsible Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, opened in October last year. The Code applies to all alcohol sold or marketed in the UK regardless of whether alcohol producers are members of the Portman Group or one of the 150 Code signatories.

The aim of the consultation is to see if there are areas which need tightening up or extending within the self-regulatory framework.

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: “We are asking some big questions about the future of alcohol marketing regulation and we are keen for everyone who has an interest to get a response in to us. We want to make sure that the rules which apply to drinks producers marketing in the UK are of the highest standard and show how serious alcohol producers are about marketing their products responsibly.”

The consultation looks at questions such as: should the Code be extended to cover all drinks producer marketing activity which is not otherwise regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority or Ofcom, including retailer-led promotions and public relations activity?; should there be a binding requirement for companies to build a commitment to social responsibility into their sponsorship agreements – what should this commitment be?; and should the Code be tightened even further to prevent any suggestion of sexual activity or that alcohol has therapeutic properties such as relaxation?

The fifth edition of the Code will be published in the spring or summer of 2012 though the timing may depend on whether it is decided to introduce more detailed rules.

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