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Vodka pulled from sale for appealing to children

Published:  13 October, 2008

A vodka drink is to be removed from sale because it looks like a soft drink and could appeal to children.

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Welcome to the new look TalkingDrinks.com

Published:  13 October, 2008

TalkingDrinks.com has had a makeover.

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Wine and spirits Moët Hennessy's worst summer performer

Published:  10 October, 2008

Wine and spirits were LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's worst performer over the summer months, according to its latest results.

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Drinks industry challenges politicians on the facts about alcohol

Published:  10 October, 2008

Harpers is stepping up its campaign urging the drinks industry to lobby MPs over the Government's proposed new alcohol laws.

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Eaux de vie joins forces with Malcolm Cowen

Published:  10 October, 2008

By Rebecca Gibb

Spirits specialist Eaux de Vie will merge with Malcolm Cowen to increase its marketing power and distribution in the UK.

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InBev names North American leadership team

Published:  10 October, 2008

InBev has lined up two new leaders who will play key roles when it merges with Anheuser-Busch group later this year.

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Magners boss quits ailing company

Published:  09 October, 2008

The chief executive of C&C Group, the makers of Magners cider, is standing down after failing to halt the brand's sales slump.

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Draft mandatory code of practice is revealed

Published:  09 October, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: By Shirley Webb 

The Government has given the strongest indication yet that it is considering a mandatory code of practice for the whole drinks trade in a bid to curb what it perceives to be a binge-drinking culture. TextEXCLUSIVE: By Shirley Webb

The Government has given the strongest indication yet that it is considering a mandatory code of practice for the whole drinks trade in a bid to curb what it perceives to be a binge-drinking culture.

Harpers has seen a confidential Home Office draft code, which has been circulated to health officials and drink companies to encourage response to consultation on the next stage of the Government's national alcohol strategy, which ends on Tuesday.

The 26-page document indicates tough new legislation placing restrictions on the packaging, promotion and sale of alcohol. It also includes a raft of mandatory and targeted conditions on what should be included on the labels of alcoholic drinks.

The conditions outlined would become either "mandatory licence  conditions" or "standalone criminal offences".

The draft also indicates that a central regulation authority - possibly the Food Standards Agency - will take control of the code, with trading standards officers and the police monitoring and enforcing it on the ground.

In addition to the code, new laws concerning price and promotions are likely to be outlined in a Health Bill due out in the autumn of 2009. The subject of promotions falls outside the remit of the Licensing Act 2003, under which part of the code will be introduced.

If enacted, the code would make the Portman Group's voluntary code of practice redundant and could lead to the group's demise, industry sources have indicted.

A Portman Group spokesman denied the speculation: "The Government has praised our code and we will be arguing there is no public interest in duplicating something that works."

Tell your MP what you think of the proposed legislation by writing an open letter to your MP. Find out more and download our template letter here.

A new policy paper due to be released by Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, next month, is also expected to back the Government's proposal for a mandatory code and curb on prices and promotions.

Key points:

Retailers must display the sensible drinking message statement at point of sale

A ban on promotions that offer free drinks

Labelling must include: the sensible drinking message; a the number of units contained in the drink; and the chief medical officers recommended guidance on consumption

Retailers must ask for proof of age if buyers look under 21.

This article has been taken from this week's issue of Harpers magazine, which is available by subscription only. To subsribe to Harpers, please click here.

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Tell your MP the real facts about alcohol

Published:  09 October, 2008

Harpers is inviting you to join the Alcohol Debate by writing an open letter to your MP.

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TalkingDrinks.com is getting a makeover

Published:  09 October, 2008

We're giving TalkingDrinks.com a makeover.

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Corona scores Ministry of Sound sponsorship deal

Published:  08 October, 2008

Corona Extra has announced a major sponsorship deal with clubbing brand Ministry of Sound.

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Tory MP calls for end to deep discounting of alcohol

Published:  08 October, 2008

A Tory MP has urged the government to ban the deep discounting of alcohol in the off-trade.

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Scottish government publishes alcohol consultation responses

Published:  08 October, 2008

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has published the hundreds responses it received to its consultation on tackling Scotland's alcohol misuse problem.

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Asahi Beer appoints Dulche as business development manager

Published:  08 October, 2008

Japanese beer company Asahi Beer has appointed Benoit Dulche as business development manager.

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Cobra launches new design for cans

Published:  08 October, 2008

Cobra Beer has unveiled new designs for its Cobra 5% Premium beer cans, which have gone into production and will roll-out in the coming weeks. The launch follows the re-design of its Cobra 5% Premium bottled offering as well as Cobra Zero%, Cobra Light and the Cobra Bite range of naturally flavoured lagers.

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Diageo buys world's biggest whisky collection

Published:  08 October, 2008

Diageo has bought the world's largest collection of whiskies from a Brazilian whisky enthusiast and shipped them to Scotland, to be displayed in a specially designed vault at the Scotch Whisky Experience.

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Asda slammed for selling beer that's cheaper than water

Published:  08 October, 2008

Asda has come under fire for selling cans of lager that are cheaper than the price of a bottle of water.

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Famous Grouse gets festive makeover in the off-trade

Published:  08 October, 2008

Scotch whisky The Famous Grouse is to be repackaged for the off-trade this month in a bid to boost sales in the run up to Christmas.

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Strongbow renews TalkSport sponsorship deal

Published:  08 October, 2008

Strongbow is renewing its 'Bowtime' sponsorship deal with TalkSport for another twelve months.

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M&S opens first store in mainland China

Published:  07 October, 2008

Marks & Spencer has opened a flagship store in Shanghai, the retailer's first in mainland China.

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