Search portmangroup.org.uk

Close

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

“The UK Government recently looked at the issue of airport licencing rules and concluded that further action was unnecessary, partly due to the positive voluntary action already being taken by the aviation, retail and hospitality industry.

“Whilst the majority of airport travellers drink moderately, we recognise the problems caused by a minority. Reducing levels of disruptive alcohol-related behaviour is a shared responsibility and we are pleased to see that positive action is already being taken in this area by the aviation, retail and hospitality industry.

“Such initiatives include the extension of existing schemes, such as the Best Bar None initiative at Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports. We support further rollout of similar schemes across UK airports and encourage all travellers to drink responsibly.”

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

“Public Health Scotland’s latest data reaffirms a body of research that shows overall alcohol consumption fell during 2020.

“Yet in contrast alcohol-related deaths tragically increased which may in part be due to the heaviest drinkers finding it harder to access support. There is a duty of care to now focus on targeted measures for the minority, those who were already drinking at the heaviest and most harmful rates, who then increased their drinking as the impact of the pandemic compounded existing problems.

“Finally, we would be interested to understand why this report focuses on alcohol sales while downplaying the Scottish Government’s own studies on actual alcohol consumption that shows a persistent fall in drinking rates for over a decade. With the majority of people in Scotland drinking an average of 12.1 units a week, below the CMO low risk guidelines of 14 units per week, it is important to view drinking rates accurately and address this within policy making.”

Data: Scottish Government Health Survey https://scotland.shinyapps.io/sg-scottish-health-survey/ shows the average alcohol consumption in 12.1 units a week compared to the CMO low risk guidelines of 14 units per week.

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

“Whilst the long term downward trend in alcohol-related hospital admissions is to be welcomed, we recognise that today’s statistics do not provide a full and representative picture as the figures are from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when general admissions were down.

“We repeat our call for the Scottish Government to take targeted measures to help those drinking at the heaviest and most harmful rates, who have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.”

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

“We were pleased to see that alcohol-related ambulance callouts fell by nearly a quarter overall, but it is unfortunate that they continued to make up 16% of incidents. We echo the Scottish ambulance service in encouraging the public to drink moderately, to look after themselves and others around them, and not put additional pressure on emergency services at this very challenging time.

“For over a decade there have been significant falls in alcohol harms such as violent crime, anti-social behaviours, binge drinking and underage drinking. Against this background it would be disproportionate to enact further marketing restrictions on alcohol, such as ‘alcohol curtains’, which only unfairly target responsible consumers and businesses, rather than address the real issue of harmful alcohol consumption by a minority and provide the necessary support to those who need it.”

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.’

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

“The study’s own researchers admit that there is inconclusive evidence that health warnings and pictorial images would have any impact on people’s behaviour. This is an extreme proposal attempting to frighten adults whose drinking is unlikely to harm their health, given that the moderate majority in Scotland drink below the CMO’s guidance of 14 units a week.

“For over 25 years the Portman Group through its Code, training, best practice and advice has ensured that alcohol is marketed responsibly and discourages depictions of negative drinking behaviours. The industry is well regulated and there is no need to waste any more government time creating mandatory labels when the vast majority of products already voluntarily show ABV, pregnancy warning labels, directions to Drinkaware and increasingly providing additional advice including the Chief Medical Officer low risk level. Instead, we should collectively focus our efforts on stronger measures targeted to help those drinking at harmful rates.”

Response to the Scottish Government’s snapshot Scottish Health Survey

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, has responded to the Scottish Government’s latest snapshot Scottish Health Survey. He commented:

“Scotland has made significant strides in lowering people’s alcohol consumption, and the Scottish Government’s snapshot suggests good news. For over a decade harmful drinking patterns, such as binge drinking, have decreased and people are having more drink free days each week.

“These results echo our own research which shows that the moderate majority of Scots drink sensibly and responsibly.”