Today the Portman Group publishes a new report ‘30 Years of Responsibility’ celebrating its 30th anniversary as the social responsibility body and regulator for alcohol producers in the UK.  Since 1989, the Portman Group, as the global leader in self-regulation, has played a key role in helping the UK become a nation of responsible drinkers, through concerted action to tackle irresponsible alcohol marketing and alcohol misuse – illustrated through analysis of alcohol trends over the last 30 years.

Key achievements include:

  • Our Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, created in 1996, has been credited worldwide with raising standards of marketing responsibility across the UK alcohol industry and is supported by all major producers, wholesalers and retailers.
  • Over 150 irresponsible products have been either re-branded or removed from the market after being ruled by the Independent Complaints Panel to have failed to meet the Code’s standards, helping to protect the most vulnerable in society.
  • Portman Group members were among the first to include unit labelling and responsible drinking messaging on packaging, helping consumers to make an informed choice.
  • The Portman Group played a lead role in the development and enactment of several key pledges in the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal in 2011, which led to 1.3 billion units of alcohol being removed from the market.
  • The Portman Group pioneered a variety of consumer-focused educational campaigns to warn of the dangers of alcohol misuse and promote responsible drinking among the public, which led to the establishment of the independent charity – The Drinkaware Trust.
  • Action by our members to promote responsible drinking has contributed to the UK population drinking less often and, when they do choose to drink, drinking less – with associated declines in binge drinking, underage drinking, alcohol-related crime and incidences of drink driving.

Commenting, Portman Group Chief Executive John Timothy said:

“We have made great progress as an industry in tackling harm and misuse over the last 30 years, but we acknowledge that there is still more to do. There remains in the UK a minority of people who drink far too much. Some of those people lead complex and unstable lives where alcohol will exacerbate a range of other challenges. As the Portman Group looks to its future as a responsible and effective regulator, we need to be prepared to evolve to stay relevant as an organisation for the next 30 years, as the population’s relationship with alcohol continues to change.

We also need to challenge ourselves to ask if we’re doing enough, individually and collectively, to minimise the risk of harm from alcohol misuse, and support those who make the informed choice to drink to do responsibly. I believe in a vibrant and diverse alcohol industry, yet also an industry which takes its commitment to responsible drinking seriously through solid, tangible actions in step with a diverse range of partners in Government, local authorities and the health community.”

Commenting on behalf of all Portman Group member companies, Diageo GB Managing Director Dayalan Nayager said:

“Over the last thirty years the Portman Group has grown from strength to strength to become a global leader in effective self-regulation and a beacon of best practice. Many of the existing members have been there from the start. Others joined later, driven by a desire to be part of an organisation dedicated to raising standards of social responsibility.

Working together, we demonstrate our collective, serious and long-term commitment to tackling alcohol misuse and encouraging responsible drinking amongst our consumers. We are proud of what we have achieved together so far but know that there is more work to be done. Therefore, we call on others to stand with us, as we look to the next thirty years as a socially responsible industry.”


For more information please contact:

Nicola Bates

0207 290 1463 or comms@localhost

Notes to editors:

  1. The Portman Group is the social responsibility body for alcohol producers in the UK. Our aim is to help reduce the harms related to alcohol and to promote responsible drinking. We regulate the promotion and packaging of alcoholic drinks sold or marketed in the UK; challenge and encourage the industry to market its products responsibly; and lead on best practice in alcohol corporate social responsibility.
  2. The Portman Group is funded by its eight member companies: Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands UK; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Carlsberg UK; Diageo GB; Heineken UK; Molson Coors Brewing Company UK; Pernod Ricard UK and Jägermeister UK.
  3. A copy of the ’30 Years of Responsibility’ is available from the Portman Group website – http://localhost/portman-group/portman-group-30-years-of-responsibility/