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Coussins to leave The Portman Group

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jean Coussins is to leave the Portman Group after 10 years at the helm of the industry-funded watchdog and sensible drinking campaign group.

Her move comes following the transfer of Portman Group's campaigning role to the Drinkaware Trust - which includes government and health sector members alongside those from the industry.

The Portman Group will continue to oversee the Code of Practice, which deals with the inappropriate packaging and marketing (exlcuding adveristing) of alcoholic drinks and is widely followed by producers and retailers.

Coussins commented: Following the changes, my role as CEO of the combined organisation obviously disappears so I shall be leaving in September. I hope to find new non-executive roles in both the public and the private sectors, and to remain involved in the drinks industry.' She has also been tipped as a front runner to take over the role of director general at the Advertising Association, following Andrew Brown's retirement.

David Poley, who is currently director of compliance and good practice at The Portman Group, will step up to the position of chief executive.

Coussins has received much credit during her tenure for turning the Group into a credible force and for her blunt warnings to the drinks trade that it had to introduce stricter self-regulation.

Before joining the Portman Group she was a director at the Commission for Racial Equality and has served on numerous government advisory panels dealing with alcohol misuse. In her earlier career she worked at the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Child Poverty Action Group.

She currently sits on the Advertising Standards Authority Council and the Advisory Council of the British Board

of Film Classification.