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Supporting the work of Only A Pavement Away

We are delighted to announce our charity partner Only A Pavement Away.

Only A Pavement Away connects forward thinking hospitality employers and charities working with people facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans to help them find and forge new careers in hospitality. The charity currently works alongside 87 hospitality employers and 85 charity partners, and hospitality businesses to offer employment to those facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans. In addition, the charity also has over 200 work-ready candidates listed on its Candidate Profile Page (CPP) jobs board which is designed to support individuals who are looking to start new careers within hospitality. The charity is also seeking funding from industry backers to enable it to reach its goal of placing 700 members into employment over the next 3 years.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group said: “The Portman Group promotes responsibility across the alcohol sector. We are impressed with the work of Only a Pavement Away who are enabling the hospitality sector to secure teams, giving second chances to former service personnel, prisoners and the homeless. The commitment that the firms are making to these new employees is testament to the support they have to helping people in their communities. This is something we have seen time and time again including during the COVID-19 pandemic and in everyday kindnesses to their teams, customers and localities. We are delighted to support Only A Pavement Away as our charity.”

As part of the Portman Group’s support, Nicola Bates, Director of External Affairs has also agreed to join as an Advisor to support the charity as it continues to grow and develop its employment programme.

Nicola commented, “Only a Pavement Away has had a considerable impact for individuals in just a short time of operation. I am delighted to be able to join the next phase of their journey and work with them to help connect businesses with people who need a hand up’.

Greg Mangham, Founder & CEO said, “I am really pleased that Nicola has agreed to join Only A Pavement Away as an Advisor. Nicola’s vast experience in business and dedication on helping those who face homelessness will be a great support to the work we do. Nicola will also bring the added advantage of the great work and support the Portman Group gives to the alcohol sector. Another crucial addition to the Only A Pavement Team and our development over the next 12 months.”

Mangham added, “By 2026, it is estimated that there will be another 1.3 million vacancies in the hospitality industry. At the same time the number of rough sleepers is on the increase. By joining forces with forward thinking companies like the Portman Group we can help someone get their life back on track and help fill the industry with hard-working, committed staff.”

For companies looking for more information on sponsorships and ways to support Only A Pavement Away, please email: fundraising@onlyapavementaway.co.uk.  To find out more about the vital work undertaken by Only A Pavement Away, visit www.onlyapavementaway.co.uk or keep an eye on the social media pages, Facebook: @onlyapavementaway, Twitter: @apavementaway, Instagram: @only_a_pavement_away and LinkedIn: Only A Pavement Away.

 

 

In reply to the Alcohol marketing frequency analysis carried out during the 2020 Six Nations Championship 

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator said:

“The alcohol industry takes a responsible approach to sponsorship, regulated by the Portman Group Sponsorship Code. It ensures that children are protected from alcohol marketing at sports, music and cultural events and that marketing is appropriate. This is an approach that we know works, with many producers using their brands to showcase responsibility messages at major events.

Socially responsible sponsorship is needed more than ever before as sport and culture seek to recover from the financial challenges of COVID-19. Bans would be disproportionate and cut the funding that is so critical to grassroots sports and events for no tangible effect on public health.”

Read the report here.

Tiny Rebel has eight products considered by the Independent Complaints Panel

With an unmatched number of complainants and products considered for one company, the Independent Complaints Panel reviewed eight Tiny Rebel products following separate complaints from the Metropolitan Police, Alcohol Focus Scotland and a member of the public.

Tiny Rebel, whose product Cwtch had previously been found to breach the Code in 2017 and 2019, received additional complaints in 2021 against: Bump ‘n’ Grind, Cali Pale, Cherry Bomb, Clwb Tropica (330ml can), Clwb Tropica four pack, Double 99, No Capes and Original Nuttah.

All eight products attracted complaints under rule 3.2(h): a drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s.  The Panel considered each product on its own basis and made a careful assessment of the overall impression conveyed by the packaging in each case.  Five were found to have a particular appeal to children.  The Panel was especially concerned by designs that featured cartoon characters, made prominent use of Tiny Rebel’s bear logo or were themed around products popular with children such as sweets and 99 ice creams.

The Panel also considered a wide range of other concerns under the code.  The Panel ruled that the name Original Nuttah, in conjunction with the imagery on the can, was likely to be taken as a derogatory reference to mental illness and was likely to cause serious offence. It also considered that the product name Bump ‘n’ Grind suggested a direct association with sexual activity.  Its decision on Cherry Bomb reiterates the Panel’s view that elements associated with soft drinks, such as fruit or sweetie flavours and cartoon-like illustrations, can overwhelm ‘alcohol’ cues and prevent the product from communicating its alcoholic nature with complete clarity.

In total, six products were found to breach at least one rule whilst all complaints against two products, Cali Pale and Clwb Tropica’s 330ml can, were not upheld.

Complaints were received and upheld under the following rules:

3.1 The alcoholic nature of a drink should be communicated on its packaging with absolute clarity.

3.2(d) A drink, its packaging or promotion should not suggest any association with sexual activity or sexual success; Strong sexual images will breach the Code even if nothing directly suggests that the drink enhances the drinker’s sexual capabilities.

3.2(f) A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as drink-driving, binge-drinking or drunkenness.

3.2(h) A drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s (in the case of sponsorship, those under 18 years of age should not comprise more than 25% of the participants, audience or spectators).

3.3: A drink’s name, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not cause serious or widespread offence.

Complaints were also considered, but were not upheld, under the following rules:

3.1 The alcoholic nature of a drink should be communicated on its packaging with absolute clarity.

3.2(e) A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest that consumption of the drink can lead to social success or popularity.

3.2(h) A drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s (in the case of sponsorship, those under 18 years of age should not comprise more than 25% of the participants, audience or spectators).

3.2(j) A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest that the product has therapeutic qualities, can enhance mental or physical capabilities, or change mood or behaviour.

Bump ‘n’ Grind’

UPHELD complaint under 3.2(d) and NOT UPHELD under 3.2(h). Full decision here.

Cali Pale

Both the complaints under 3.1 and 3.2(h) were NOT UPHELD. Full decision here.

Cherry Bomb

UPHELD complaints under 3.1 and 3.2(h). Full decision here.

Clwb Tropica (330ml can)

Complaints were NOT UPHELD under 3.13.2(h), 3.2(e) and 3.2(j). Full decision here.

 Clwb Tropica four pack

UPHELD complaint under 3.2(h). Complaints were NOT-UPHELD under 3.1, 3.2(e) and 3.2(j). Full decision here.

Double 99

UPHELD complaints under 3.2(f) and 3.2(h). Full decision here.

No Capes

UPHELD complaint under 3.2(h). Full decision here.

Original Nuttah

UPHELD complaints under 3.2(h) and 3.3. Full decision here.

Copies of the full decisions are also available https://www.portmangroup.org.uk/icp/ .

Following the Panel’s decisions Tiny Rebel are working with the Portman Group’s Advisory Service to resolve concerns with some of the products which have been upheld. Prior to all the ICP’s decisions being made, Tiny Rebel voluntarily chose to discontinue Bump ‘N’ Grind, Cherry Bomb, No Capes and Original Nuttah.

Commenting on the decisions, the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said:

“Tiny Rebel’s product range has had problems across a range of areas, but in particular with designs that have a particular appeal to under-18s although this has not been its intention. It is essential that alcoholic products are aimed squarely at adults and clearly communicate their alcoholic nature. Equally importantly is the need to avoid widespread offence, particularly around mental health. We therefore welcome Tiny Rebel’s commitment to work to change the marketing, and to remove problematic products from the market. I very much hope that they will ensure future products adhere to the Code.”

Tiny Rebel were invited to comment and said:

“At Tiny Rebel we take all consumer complaints very seriously, as well as our wider social responsibility. We build in continuous quality at all levels which includes branding and promoting our beers. We’ll continue to work closely with the Portman Group and are committed to following their guidance. We’re delighted that they have confirmed that our Clwb Tropica IPA and Cali Pale Ale products are both fully compliant.”

The member of the public complainant said: “Good self-regulation is critical to the ongoing success of the UK alcoholic beverage industry. The industry has a responsibility to protect vulnerable young people from products that are not suitable for them. In upholding the complaints against Tiny Rebel Brewery, the Portman Group has demonstrated that it can provide effective leadership in the continued self-regulation of the alcoholic beverage industry.”

On Elaine Hindal stepping down as Drinkaware Chief Executive

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator said:

“We are very sorry to see Elaine Hindal step down as Chief Executive of Drinkaware and applaud her tireless efforts over the last decade to promote responsible drinking and tackle alcohol harm. The progress in moderate drinking trends and falls in binge drinking and drink driving can in part be linked to successful campaigns implemented under her leadership, as well as helping give consumers the tools to make informed decisions about their own drinking. We wish her every success in the future.”

The Portman Group

The Portman Group is the social responsibility body and regulator for alcohol labelling, packaging and promotion in the UK. In 1989 we were founded by alcohol producers to help ensure alcohol is marketed in a socially responsible way; they still lead us today and we are accountable to them to ensure that the whole sector is responsible.

We are a unique self-regulatory body, and we need a Regulatory Affairs Executive to join our small team with a big purpose. You will support the Regulatory Affairs Team to ensure that the drinks industry apply the highest standards to their alcohol marketing through the industry’s Codes of Practice.

The role

This is a varied role and you will have exposure to every element of our regulatory function.  You’ll support our Advice Manager in responding to confidential advice requests from the industry to provide guidance on how to abide by our Codes of Practice.  You’ll also provide administrative support to the Independent Complaints Panel, the independent body that makes adjudications on complaints that we receive.  Finally, you’ll need to be hands on and assist with event organisation and regulatory communications.  This is a diverse role that would be ideal for someone looking to gain experience in a regulatory body and understand how self-regulation works.

You

We believe in supporting the development of new talent. We know that we are a unique organisation so we do not expect you to have alcohol regulation experience. You are most likely to be a graduate with an interest in regulation or someone who may be considering a career change and can demonstrate the transferrable skills we are looking for.

You will have:

  • The ability to make sound and consistent judgements on issues of responsible marketing;
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills to convey these judgements, with the ability to write clearly, accurately, concisely and appropriately to all correspondents;
  • A persuasive, authoritative manner with the ability to remain calm yet resolute in the face of pressure;
  • Excellent administrative skills and high standards of personal organisation;
  • A willingness to work hard and eagerness to learn;
  • Ability to work on own initiative and be self-motivated as well as enthusiasm for being a team player in a very small organisation with a big mission.

What could set you apart:

  • Proven experience in successful planning and management of a dynamic workload within a framework of timescales;
  • Understanding of and/or an aptitude for marketing activity under a regulatory code, ideally within a regulatory body;
  • Experience of delivering engaging presentations to wide audiences.

Now worried that you aren’t the right person – keep reading

We are motivated to build the very strongest team and hold that success is more likely when there is diversity of thought, opinion and background. We know that candidates are often put off applying for a job unless they can tick every box. We also know that we work in a post COVID-19 reality and ‘normal’ office hours aren’t always doable. While we can’t accommodate every flexible working request we are happy to consider flexible options.  So if you are excited about working in our regulatory team and you believe that you can do much of what we are looking for please apply.

How to apply

Please send your CV and a succinct cover note explaining why you are interested to people@portmangroup.org.uk. The deadline for applications is 19 September. If we receive a high amount of strong applications we may close the posting early so please apply sooner rather than later.

Good luck!

On the publication of Northern Ireland’s Preventing Harm, Empowering Recovery – Substance Use Strategy

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator said:

“The Portman Group welcomes the new Strategic Framework as an important step in tackling the harm from alcohol misuse and drug use in Northern Ireland. We echo the Department of Health in highlighting positive downward trends marked by declining binge and underage drinking across Northern Ireland. We also recognise that there is much more work to be done and welcome the Framework’s proposals on those drinking at the most harmful rates in an effort to improve treatment and tackle the underlying issues highlighted by Minister Swann such as mental health, deprivation and homelessness.

“The industry has a longstanding commitment to responsibility. We continue to work in partnership with Governments and would seek to do so further with the Northern Irish Executive to help achieve the common goal of reducing alcohol misuse.”

Response on National Records of Scotland figures on alcohol deaths in 2020

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator said:

“We are seeing a tragic pattern as a result of the pandemic, and these figures reinforce previous data on those drinking at the most harmful rates. The reasons for this are complex and likely the result of people being cut off from the social and professional support they need. The focus should be to target support for those who are the most vulnerable.’

PHE report on alcohol consumption and harm during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our response to the PHE report on alcohol consumption and harm during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes our research conducted in May and August 2020.

This research found that the moderate majority, 88% of UK drinkers, were consuming the same, less or had stopped drinking alcohol altogether, this has been consistently evident throughout the pandemic.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, commented:

“This report’s finding on pandemic drinking behaviour is consistent with many others. The moderate majority continued to drink the same, or less than before, while it was mainly the small minority who were already drinking at heavier rates who increased their drinking with tragic consequences – this was shown in the Portman Group and others research which the PHE cited.

“The pandemic created a perfect storm where harmful drinking was concerned.  COVID-19 restrictions appear to have cut off social and professional support to highest harm drinkers, or deterred these most vulnerable people from seeking help in the first instance. We urge the Government to renew its focus on measures aimed at supporting these people.

“On alcohol sales the volume fell by over 10% (Euromonitor 2021) as many people who drink in pubs and clubs chose not to drink or didn’t buy as much from retailers.”

The Portman Group welcomes two new members as industry support for self-regulation grows during 25th anniversary year

The Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, is delighted to welcome two new members, C&C Group plc and Mark Anthony Brands International. They are the first new members to join in 2021, the year in which the Portman Group is also celebrating 25 years of its Code of Practice. This brings the total Group membership to fourteen.

C&C Group is returning as a member after previously leaving in 2014. Mark Anthony Brands enhances the breadth of the Council membership, representing one of the foremost hard seltzer brands in the market, White Claw. Hard seltzer is a growing trend in the market.

C&C Group is a leading brand owner and largest drinks distributor in the UK and Ireland, manufacturing, supplying and marketing cider, beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks.  In the UK, C&C Group’s portfolio of owned/exclusive brands include: Tennent’s, the iconic Scottish beer brand; Magners the premium international cider brand; as well as a range of fast-growing, super-premium and craft cider and beers, including Orchard Pig, Heverlee and Menabrea

David Forde, Chief Executive at C&C Group has previously been a Portman Group Council member when he was CEO of Heineken UK and Ireland.

Speaking about joining the Portman Group, Forde said:

“Now more than ever, as we see the ramifications of COVID-19, the sector needs to come together to demonstrate that the UK alcohol  industry takes its self-regulatory and social responsibility obligations very seriously. As a regulator, the Portman Group actively helps the industry to avoid breaches of the code through guidance and training, holds the industry to account when necessary and represents the positive work of the sector to government. By re-joining the Portman Group, we are increasing our existing strong commitment to socially responsible business practices and industry self-regulation.”

Commenting on their membership of the Portman Group, Davin Nugent, Chief Executive at Mark Anthony Brands International said: “Becoming a member of the Portman Group affirms our commitment to responsible self-regulation of the alcohol industry. Our support of the Portman Group means we are becoming a part of the gold-standard of responsibility and regulation.

“We have long been dedicated to promoting the responsible serving and consumption of our products in all settings and are pleased to have this formalised.”

Speaking about the drive for new members, Chief Executive of the Portman Group Matt Lambert said: “We are especially pleased to welcome two new members to the Portman Group in this the 25th anniversary of our code of practice. It is a significant endorsement of our new strategy “We encourage producers and retailers, both large and small, to talk to us about how they too can play a full part in engaging with key policy challenges and actively supporting the self-regulatory model.”

Speaking about the AHA poll Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, commented:

“The alcohol industry actively ensures the provision of information for consumers. For over a decade our best practice states that alcoholic drinks have ABV, pregnancy warning symbols or messages and signposting to the independent alcohol information charity Drinkaware; even the outdated 2019 AHA survey recognises that this pretty much universally appears.

“The sector made a commitment in 2019 to put the CMO’s low risk guidance on label and since that point we have seen this rolled out across a large number of products. Many in the sector have made voluntary commitments to putting calories on labels or online – no responsible company is seeking to hide information from consumers.

“A core concern with this poll is that it neglects to highlight how many consumers could correctly estimate the number of calories in a whole range of food and drink products which have calorie labelling whether it be fruit, pizzas or a salad. We suspect that this would likely match the results they found for drinking a glass of wine or beer despite the wealth of nutritional labelling present on food and soft drinks. Labelling can only be one element of educating consumers and we support accurate public health campaigns that help adults to make the best choices.”