Britain's Alcohol Industry Imposes New, Tougher Ad Code

17 September 2002

The Portman Group, a voluntary regulator of alcohol marketing formed by seven of the UK’s leading drinks manufacturers, on Monday published a new code governing the promotion of alcoholic drinks.

This acknowledges the rising tide of concern over underage drinking – doubled in a decade – and prohibits the marketing of alcohol to young people in any manner that implies bravado, sexual or social success. It applies not only to ads but also to sponsorship deals, websites and branded merchandise, many of which have been slammed by politicians and other critics for their irresponsibility.

Says Portman group director Jean Cousins: “The code has been a very effective piece of self-regulation for six years. We have swept over sixty products off the market because their design appealed to children or encouraged antisocial behaviour. Now we are plugging another regulation gap and extending the code.”

In addition to the Portman Group’s founding septet, over 120 other UK companies have signed-up to the code, copies of which can be obtained by calling +44 (0)207 907 3700 or (as from next week) downloaded in .pdf format from the Portman Group website.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff