In its response to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport consultation, the Portman Group claims that if there is insufficient control on alcohol product placement, it could lead to "some less scrupulous companies abandoning other strictly-regulated media in favour of high-profile product placement through which they could convey brand associations, for example with excessive or inappropriate consumption or sexual success, that they could not convey through other forms of marketing".
It also urges that product placement on TV should not be allowed to undermine the existing strict controls on alcohol marketing, which are regulated by the Portman Group and the Advertising Standards Authority.
Chief executive David Poley said: "It could be far more difficult to control the message in product placement than with advertising. The danger is that less scrupulous companies would exploit this. We could see all kinds of unwise and unhealthy drinking portrayals.
"We do not want to see product placement unless it can be regulated to the same high standards as all other alcohol marketing."