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Portman Group: Strict controls on alcohol advertising

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Portman Group has responded to Ed Balls' concerns over children's exposure to alcohol advertising.

Speaking at the weekend ahead of the publication of the Children's Plan, the Schools Secretary raised the issue and singled out claims by Alcohol Concern of a "spike" in alcohol advertising between 4pm and 6pm.

However, David Poley - Chief Executive of the Portman Group - said strict controls already governed the scheduling and content of alcohol advertising.

He explained: "The rules state that ads must not have strong appeal to under-18s or link alcohol to daring, toughness, aggression, sexual activity or success. The scheduling of alcohol tv ads prevents ads appearing during or around children's programmes."

Alcohol-related advertisements cannot be shown if the percentage of child viewers rises to 20% above the proportion of children in the general population - rules which apply 24/7, Poley added.

The Children's Secretary said Alcohol Concern's claims of an advertising spike between 4pm and 6pm "is an issue which we will be looking at in the ministerial group over the next few months".

Poley concluded "the insinuation that advertising is linked to children's programmes is completely false".