The Portman Group is urging drinks producers and brand owners to rebrand any shooter-style drinks before its new code of practice comes into effect next year.

The revised code, which was announced this week, prevents companies from encouraging consumers via packaging and promotions, to down alcohol and will apply to all pre-packaged drinks from January 1 2008.

"Downing drinks is damaging because it can cause people to get drunk quickly," said David Poley, Chief executive, The Portman Group. "Producers want to promote responsible behaviour - not a harmful drinking style."

Global Brands said it was already in compliance with the new code, after rebranding its Corky's range from Corky's Vodka Shots to Corky's Vodka Liqueurs last year. "Although the brand was launched as a shot-style product it has, over the past three years, evolved into a versatile spirit range," said company MD Steve Perez.

"We always review our marketing strategies and will be examining the new guidelines to ensure we operate within them."

Halewood's, which produces Sidekick, also said it would be reviewing its packaging to ensure it complied with the revised code.

"We support the Portman Group position that we all have a role to play in ensuring alcohol is sold and marketed responsibly," said marketing director Graham Oak.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, which owns the Aftershock shot brand, was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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