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Government looks to new rules on alcohol promotions

04 March 2008 by

The Government is to develop a code for the responsible sale and promotion of alcohol, following the publication today of its long-awaited review of the Licensing Act 2003.

Controlling promotions such as buy-one-get-one-free and two-for-one offers could become part of a condition of an alcohol licence after the joint investigation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office.

The Government is now waiting for the Department of Health to publish the results of a study that looks at the relation between alcohol price, promotion and harm before developing the code.

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State of DCMS, said: "The real cost of alcohol has fallen to historically low levels, and there is already an emerging consensus that more needs to be done to tackle irresponsible promotions and deep discounting that can lead to anti social behaviour.

"The Government will begin immediate work with the licensing authorities and retailers, including the development of new codes on responsible sales and promotions which might be considered as a condition of an alcohol licence."

It comes just a week after the British Medical Association called on the Government to introduce legislation restricting drinks promotions.

The pub trade itself has attacked the low-price of alcohol available in supermarkets claiming it is frustrating the on-trades efforts to promote responsible drinking.

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Licensing news round-up >>

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By Christopher Walton

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