Metamorphosis for UK Drinks Industry Body

15 March 2006

The Portman Group, a not-for-profit defensive body funded by the UK alcoholic drinks industry to deflect criticism by promoting 'responsible drinking', is to transfer most of its campaigning and educational activities to a newly registered charity - the Drinkaware Trust.

The trust, which is seemingly responsible to The Portman Group and funded by the same sources, will be managed by a group of trustees - although critics already complain at lack of transparency as to who appoints the trustees?

Drinkaware is charged with running local and national alcohol educational campaigns, including leaflet distribution and education packs for schools. It will also be responsible for advertising, although given the likely budget major TV campaigns are unlikely.

Some experts estimate that a minimum annual budget of £20 million ($34.62m; €28.99m) is necessary to fight the UK's existing alcohol-related problems.

But The Portman Group has more modest intentions. It proposes that Drinkaware's budget is £3 million in year one, £4 million in year two and £5 million in year three.

Most, although not all, of this money will be contributed by the UK's £36.6 billion* a year alcoholic drinks industry, the balance coming from sources such as the EU and the National Lottery.
     *Source: Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, 2004.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff