LONDON: Conscious of the need to pre-empt threatened legislation on alcohol advertising, The Portman Group, a watchdog funded by the UK brewing and distillery industries, has introduced a new set of alcohol marketing guidelines - with special emphasis on children. Also the way in which drink is depicted in TV product placements.

In the case of the former, the new rules stipulate that alcohol branding must not appear on children's replica sports shirts, offered under sponsorship agreements signed after 1 January 2008.

They also cover a beverage's name and packaging; press releases; websites; sponsorship; sampling; branded merchandise; advertorials; and all other promotional material.

The changes, relating to the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, appear in the fourth edition of the Portman Group's Code of Practice.

This was published last summer, allowing a six-months period of grace in which companies could adjust their marketing as necessary.

However, the rules do not apply to alcohol advertising, the practice of which is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff