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

“Alcohol companies actively promote responsible drinking and have invested in initiatives and partnerships to address alcohol harms for decades. During that time we have seen falling rates of drinking in a range of areas, including underage drinking.

“Alcohol education programmes can help empower young people with the knowledge and confidence to make safe choices around alcohol when they become an adult. They help young people explore the dangers of alcohol misuse within a range of age-appropriate scenarios.

“For more than 25 years the Portman Group has worked with the sector to ensure alcohol marketing is not targeted at under 18s. Our regulation of the sector has ensured that hundreds of products have been amended and do not encourage underage drinking.

“We would argue that more success is achieved with the engagement of businesses who want to make a difference, than an approach that would turn away funding and advice.”