Slammers slammed, shots get bullet

29 June, 2007

The Portman Group is to

monitor drinks brands

to make sure they comply with its code on packaging and marketing.

The move marks a change of tack for the drinks industry-funded body, which currently relies on external complaints to flag up problems.

Chief executive David Poley revealed the plans at a House of Commons meeting of all-parliamentary drinks groups

to discuss the Portman's fourth code of practice.

Speaking to OLN after the meeting, Poley said: "I think it's good practice to be proactive and ensure that there's widespread compliance within the code rather than simply relying on complaints."

The Portman Group's fourth code bans the

words shooter and slammer from drinks packaging and marketing and says

producers should not encourage rapid drinking. It has advised drinks ­companies to rebrand products

for the code's implementation on Jan 1, 2008.

Poley said: "For most product sectors, the freedom to market products is a right. In the case of alcohol, it's a privilege. Like all privileges, if you stop being ­responsible, it will get taken away."

Halewood International - which ­produces single-serve shot Sidekick - has pledged to review its packaging, while Corky's supplier Global Brands has renamed the range as vodka liqueurs .

The first version of this story appeared on OLN's website

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