New Alcohol Sponsorship Code comes into force

By Lewis Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Portman group Stella artois Rugby union Uk Pernod ricard

Alcohol sponsorship code
The first UK-wide alcohol sponsorship code to regulate all new alcohol sponsorship agreements has come into force.

The Alcohol Sponsorship Code was launched by the Portman Group, a dedicated social responsibility body for drinks producers which regulates the marketing of all UK drinks companies.

The new code carries clear sanctions - producers risk significant reputational damage if they breach the code both through negative publicity and the financial cost of having to renegotiate a sponsorship agreement or having to withdraw it completely.

Working to promote responsible drinking

Henry Ashworth, Portman Group chief executive, said: “This is another important gear change in partnership working to promote responsible drinking. I am pleased that the new Code has been endorsed by the UK’s leading sports and music bodies.

“Alcohol companies will have a binding commitment to promote responsible drinking – this represents an intelligent evolution of a highly respected code and shows that we are constantly raising the bar when it comes to responsible alcohol marketing.”

Examples of the drinks industry showing its commitment to the promotion of responsible drinking through brand sponsorships include AB InBev, the brewer of Stella Artois, who are going to use an online tool to ensure that bar staff are trained in responsible service at The Open Championship.

Through Diageo’s Guinness ‘DRINKiQ programme, rugby players will be educated about the short and long term effects of excessive drinking. Pernod Ricard’s Jacob’s Creek sponsorship of Wimbledon will see responsible drinking messages feature on promotional materials. SHS Drinks using advertising space at the Rockness Festival in Scotland to encourage responsible drinking.

New code backed

The new code has been backed by the widest ever partnership of drinks producers, retailers and leading sports, arts and venues organisations such as AEG, Rugby Football Union, Football Association, Association of Independent Festivals among others.

The Alcohol Sponsorship Code, best practice examples and a guidance note can be downloaded from

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