The Portman Group will launch a full public consultation in Spring 2018 on the fifth edition of its Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose and responsive to the evolving marketing landscape.

This will be the fifth review of the Portman Group Code since it was first introduced in 1996. The regulator will be seeking a wide range of views from producers, retailers, public health professionals, charities and all other interested parties. The consultation will focus on some key areas likely to include:

  • Defining “immoderate consumption” – the removal of daily guidelines from the Chief Medical Officers’ lower risk drinking guidelines has impacted on assessing complaints about irresponsible sampling promotions or packaging such as a single-serve, non-resealable containers;
  • Strengthening the code to prohibit direct or indirect links with alcohol and any illegal activity;
  • Introducing a new rule with supporting guidance addressing serious and widespread offence, such as sexism in marketing.

Respondents will also be able to identify other issues for consideration in the consultation process.

Commenting on the forthcoming review, John Timothy, Chief Executive of the Portman Group, said:

“Alcohol producers are serious about their leadership role in tackling misuse and ensuring that their products are marketed responsiblyWe know that self-regulation works, driving up standards and holding producers to account – but to make sure it continues to do so the Code must evolve with new issues and challenges.

“This is our fifth review of the Code and we need to make sure it remains fit for the future. That means ensuring it continues to be responsive to changes in the marketing landscape, while also challenging producers to achieve the highest standards of social responsibility. We will be engaging widely to secure a range of views and would encourage anyone with an interest in alcohol and responsible marketing to get in touch.”