“Widespread abuse” of voluntary codes of practice intended to curb excess drinking has been uncovered in an audit completed by consultant group KPMG for the Home Office, the Times reported on Friday.
But a spokesperson for the Portman Group, the industry body that polices a code of practice on drinks marketing, called the report “pure speculation”, adding the results have not been released.
The audit is one of several government-commissioned probes into drinks industry practices, including price promotions and labelling, currently underway.
OLN understands that some in the industry are expecting bad news from the KPMG audit, which is the first to be completed.
Others believe the government is looking for too many voluntary agreements from the industry to restrict marketing and sales. “At what point do you say stop?” one industry source said.
The government surveys are set to lay the foundations for a comprehensive alcohol strategy for England, which will aim to cut alcohol abuse. A consultation on the strategy is expected to be launched late autumn.