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Industry voluntary code "Not fit for purpose"

A report commissioned by the government has found that self-regulation of the alcohol industry is failing to uphold voluntarily-agreed standards. "In the current trading climate the commercial imperative generally overrides adherence" to the code, it says.

The study, conducted by KPMG, was commissioned by the government to evaluate the current policy of self-regulation of promotional activities, overseen by the Portman Group. In the recent Youth Alcohol Action Plan, the government raised the possibility that the regulatory standards will be made mandatory. In response, David Poley, Chief Executive of the Portman Group, said, “The promotional activities of drinks producers are strictly controlled with mandatory rules that apply to all companies. There would be no justification for interfering with drinks producer self-regulation.” KPMG's investigation has found otherwise.