Drinks trade debates under-age tactics

23 March, 2007

Senior drinks trade figures discussed tactics for stopping under-age drinking at a round-table discussion on March 6.

The event saw Diageo, the Portman Group and the Wine & Spirit trade Association in discuss ion with representatives from the Home Office and health and education bodies, including Alcohol Concern and the National Union of Teachers.

Topics included education, family attitudes, fixed penalty notices and the promotion and price of alcohol.

Portman Group chief executive David Poley argued against raising prices as a method of stopping children buying alcohol. Speaking after the event, he said: "I didn't agree that we should make alcohol more expensive for everyone in order to make it less affordable for under-18s to purchase illegally. It's far better to say let's enforce the law than put up the price for everyone on the grounds that if you're purchasing illegally it'll be less affordable."

Poley also argued against the vilification of RTDs. "It's very hard to legislate against drinks on the basis of their taste and therefore one should focus on the marketing . That's what we do through our code of practice to ensure all drinks are aimed at an adult audience," he said.

Diageo corporate relations director Tim Rycroft said : "Diageo believes all stakeholders in the debate have to play their part if this long-established problem is going to be addressed. "




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Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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