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New responsible alcohol code launched

03 February 2014 by

A new alcohol sponsorship code has been introduced that will asks drinks makers to promote responsible drinking at sponsored events.

Launched by responsible-alcohol campaigner Portman Group, the UK-wide code was developed with major sports, music and venue rights holders.

It seeks to make sure that sponsorships of events promote and encourage responsible drinking. Producers risk sanctions if they fail to follow the code, including having to withdraw sponsorship of the event in question.

The code itself stipulates that it should be applied "in spirit, as well as to the letter", and applies to all sponsorship companies connected with the alcoholic drinks industry in the UK, including producers, importers, wholesalers and retailers.

Recommended "responsible drinking" practices may include displaying the "drink aware" logo, or a statement asking people to "drink responsibly". The code also prohibits companies from sponsoring events or merchandise primarily aimed at under-18s, and says companies may not suggest that drinking improve sporting prowess, social, or sexual "success".

Companies to have endorsed the code include AEG, Association of Independent Festivals, British Horseracing, England and Wales Cricket Board, the Football Association, the Rugby Football League, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Premier League, Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Rugby.

The code works alongside the Portman Group's existing Code of Practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks, which came into effect in May 2013.

The full code and information booklet on the code is available to download from the Portman Group website.

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