Drink watchdog vets alcopops in new crackdown

The Portman Group, the drinks industry’s own regulator, is demanding alcopop makers submit new products for pre-launch vetting as it cracks down on products aimed at underage drinkers.

The Portman Group, the drinks industry’s own regulator, is

demanding alcopop makers submit new products for pre-launch vetting as

it cracks down on products aimed at underage drinkers.



The move is part of a tough new package of measures, unveiled this week,

aimed at preventing manufacturers from marketing their drinks to

under-18s.



Drinks will now be vetted by an independent panel to make sure they do

not contravene guidelines.



’The government welcomes the tougher code of practice and is pleased

that they have taken on board our comments,’ said a Home Office

spokeswoman.



The new code also allows the watchdog to ask retailers not to stock

brands which fall foul of the rules and warns that local licensing

authorities may take action against retailers who fail to respond.



’Responsible marketing of alcoholic drinks is common sense,’ said Jean

Coussins, Portman Group director. ’Manufacturers and retailers who

ignore the code will pay a high price.’



Meanwhile, Home Office minister George Howarth is to deliver his report

on the marketing of alcohol this week. The government is known to be

considering a licensing scheme for alcopops.



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