Portman calls public to complain about drinks

The drinks industry is encouraging people to complain about irresponsible drinks marketing in a major campaign by the Portman Group.

The campaign includes national press ads and direct mail leaflets to professionals such as Trading Standards officers and police in licensing roles.

Compliance with the Portman Group’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging & Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks is compulsory for all UK producers. Over the last decade it has been used to remove 70 drinks from sale. A further 1,560 products and promotions have been scrutinised before launch with hundreds of them amended.

Portman chief executive David Poley said: “The Code’s effectiveness was recognised recently by KPMG in its review of industry standards and the Code was named among the International Harm Reduction Association’s 50 leading global initiatives.

“We want to be certain that all producers are meeting the Code’s high standards. Consumers can help us achieve our goal by complaining about any irresponsible marketing that has crept under our radar.”

Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, added: “It is completely unacceptable for alcohol to be promoted in a way which glamorises drinking, encourages excessive drinking, or appeals to young people.

“The two-pronged approach, using a national press campaign along with targeting Trading Standards and police licensing officers, is applauded and reinforces all of the other work that is going on to promote the responsible consumption and sale of alcohol.”