Home News Portman Group publishes first alcohol audit since 2012

    Portman Group publishes first alcohol audit since 2012

    Portman Group publishes first alcohol audit since 2012

    UK alcohol industry regulator, the Portman Group, has completed its first audit since 2012, with new findings showing the market has higher levels of compliance.

    Portman Group said the reason for the latest audit was in response to changes in society and expectations of the industry.

    Some researchers claim that alcohol producers do not provide the right information on bottles, Portman’s and the Independent Complaints Panel’s decisions show 95% obey regulatory standards.

    The Portman Group’s previous audit showed 92% compliance, thus highlighting an increasingly responsible alcohol sector that supports an enhanced regulatory regime.

    The audit, now in its sixth edition, titled Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, was carried out by Zenith Global.

    Just 29 of 500 products that were assessed were flagged for potentially breaching the updated code.

    The rule most likely to be breached was the stipulation that products, promotions and packaging must not appeal to under 18s, with 20.7% of flagged products deemed at risk breaking this rule.

    A further 17.2% of products were found breaking the rules regarding placing undue emphasis on alcoholic strength and association with violence, bravado and illegal behaviour.

    Interestingly, beer accounted for 60% of flagged products, with the majority of overseas products (67%) were underscoring the need for importers to understand the UK’s alcohol regulation.

    Speaking about the audit, John Timothy, Chief Executive of the Portman Group, commented: “The industry has demonstrated that it is committed to the rules and guidelines set out by the Portman Group Code.

    “It is testament to the support to industry regulation from the sector that 95% of products on sale are compliant. This is a sector that by-and-large takes its responsibilities seriously.”

    Jenny Watson CBE, Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, said: “The Code is in place to ensure the alcohol industry remains responsible and is updated when necessary to ensure it reflects shifts in both the industry and society.

    “The ICP works to assess any potential breaches to the Code following complaints from members of the public.

    “In this case, the Panel received relatively few complaints following the audit that accompanies the introduction of a new Code, but it remains important to ensure the industry continues to strive for the highest standards possible.”

    Other updates within the new audit included new guidance to protect the vulnerable and rules that outlawed marketing considered to cause serious or widespread offence.

    Changes also included a new definition of immoderate consumption and tightening of the rules surrounding links to illegal behaviour and suggestions of mind-altering qualities.