Portman Group blasts Alcohol Concern for 'haphazard' study

LONDON - The Portman Group has issued a rebuttal to lobby group Alcohol Concern, branding the latter's report claiming alcohol brands are targeting children with ads as 'haphazard and disingenuous'.

In a letter copied to government officials and industry bodies including ISBA, the drinks industry body attempts to dismantle last year's Alcohol Concern report Not in Front of the Children, which claimed to identify a spike in drinks advertising between 3pm and 5pm, when children return home from school.

Since the report's publication, its findings have been quoted in two recent consultation documents by the UK and Scottish governments, as well as being picked up by the national press, and Alcohol Concern used the research to support its call for a 9pm watershed for drinks ads.

The Portman Group claims it was unable to dispute the findings earlier as Alcohol Concern had withheld the raw data until now.

Portman Group chief executive David Poley said the data shows that more than 50% fewer alcohol ads are screened between 3pm and 5pm than in the 1pm to 3pm and 5pm to 7pm periods.' It is getting embarrassing that Alcohol Concern persists in trying to twist the facts,' he added.

Alcohol Concern said it stood by its research and questioned the impartiality of the Portman Group.

Read the Portman Group's full letter

Drinks Ads:

  • The DCMS says a ban could cost broadcasters and the ad industry £100m, but would have no real impact on drinking.
  • Ofcom regulations bar alcohol ads when the proportion of under-18 viewers reaches 20% above national averages.
  • In 2007, InBev was the biggest drinks advertiser, with a spend of £20.6m.
  • Source: DCMS/Ofcom/Nielsen

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