Brit Booze Barons Bleat at New TV Ad Restrictions

20 April 2005

The Portman Group, a trade body funded by Britain's Brobdingnagian brewing and distilling trades - ostensibly to promote "responsible drinking" among consumers - is up in arms at proposed new rules that regulate the advertising of alcoholic products on television.

These, claim the lobbyist, will prevent the industry from making effective points about irresponsible drinking by producing hard-hitting commercials that portray the act in dramatic surroundings.

In particular, it objects to a draft rule barring the depiction of drinking in an "environment that is hazardous". This, argues the group, could prevent ads being set in environments such as a desert or a jungle or even a balcony.

"If the rules relating to such advertisements are unduly restrictive, either the advertisements will lack impact or companies will decide not to produce them at all," the Portman Group said in a submission to media regulator Ofcom and its enforcer, the Advertising Standards Authority.

"We consider that the [British Code of Advertising Practice] should not be used to deter drinks companies from producing effective campaigns designed solely to promote responsible attitudes and behaviour."

  • Separately, the ASA has given brewers until 6 June to make submissions on a new health and dietary rule that bans low carbohydrate beers from marketing themselves as part of a healthy lifestyle.

    The new rules will come into force on 1 October.

    Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff