Industry alliance expected

05 September, 2008

Major alcohol retailers and producers

are said to be

creating a responsible drinking alliance to convince

government that marketing can change cultural attitudes

towards binge-drinking.

The move

follows a seminar hosted by the Portman Group in April, where

­government and industry representatives exchanged information on existing responsible drinking campaigns.

"They also examined the potential of social marketing to change the behaviour of the minority of young adults who drink irresponsibly," said Michael Thompson, head of communications at the Portman Group , which is going to "facilitate discussions".

Trade associations including the WSTA and the British Beer

& Pub Association are also said to be on board, although they are not spearheading the initiative.

The alliance is

expected to use advertising to try to make drunkenness socially unacceptable, especially among

young adults. It is understood

the campaign will be funded by the industry's major manufacturers .

"There's a growing willingness among industry to use its marketing to promote responsible drinking ," Thompson continued. "A number of companies have developed their own campaigns. Companies are using their marketing to promote responsibility messages and a number are also funding the Drinkaware Trust.

"Despite this, the alcohol industry is continuing to explore how it could further strengthen its work in this area," he added.

Conference on harm

The impact of pricing and promotion on alcohol misuse is among the issues to be discussed at a major conference on alcohol harm in Westminster.

Taking place on Oct 21, the Westminster Health Forum keynote seminar - Alcohol & Responsibility - will be jointly sponsored by the Campaign for Real Ale and the Portman Group.

Confirmed speakers include Crispin Acton from the Department of Health; Guy Mason, Asda's public affairs manager; and David Burrows, shadow minister for justice. To book a place


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