Portman code sparks range reviews

21 June, 2007

Spirits companies have pledged to review brand packaging to make sure they comply with the Portman Group’s latest code, which rules against the promotion of rapid drinking.

Halewood International – which supplies Sidekick shots – said it welcomed the code.

Marketing director Graham Oak said: “We support the Portman Group position that we all have a role to play in ensuring alcohol is sold and marketed responsibly. At Halewood International we believe strongly that there is room in the market for a range of well-presented and clearly-communicated single serve products that fit within the drinking repertoire.

“As such, we will be reviewing our packaging and all other sales and promotional material to make sure that it fits within the new Portman Group ruling ahead of the code implementation in 2008.”

Global Brands managing director Steve Perez said: “We welcome the Portman Group’s new guidelines and have already pre-empted this by renaming the Corky’s off-trade range Vodka Liqueurs rather than Vodka Shots. This was done to emphasise that Corky’s isn’t a down-in-one product but rather to be enjoyed slowly over ice or with a mixer or even as a cocktail base. We have developed a range of flavours that promote enjoying Corky’s in small quantities with lots of variety - rather like tapas.

“Since Corky’s was launched five years ago, the market, venues, customers and consumers alike have all changed. Although Corky’s was originally launched as a shot-style product, it has, over the last three years particularly, evolved into a versatile spirit range.”

Perez added: “We are constantly reviewing our marketing strategies and the marketplace and will be examining the new Portman Group guidelines closely to ensure we continue to operate within them.”

The Portman Group's code on the naming and packaging of drinks – its fourth – advises against the use of phrases such as shooter and slammer and the use of imagery or wording promoting rapid drinking. Drinks companies will be required to comply with the new code by Jan 1.

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