saved duty Halewood International has cut the strength of its Red Square premix spirit brand to fund additional marketing spend. The duty saved through the cut from 5.5% to 5.1% abv will be ploughed back into advertising and retail activity. Marketing manager Richard Clark said he did not expect a consumer backlash against the strength cut, which has been put through research. He added: "Supporting the retailer is important and this move means we can substantially increase above and below the line spend on the brand." A Budget increase of 65% in the duty on premium packaged spirits raised the stakes in what was already a competitive category. Beverage analyst Canadean said that the tax hike was unlikely to hit sales, with total volumes forecast to increase by a further 60% by 2004. Red Square is claiming growth of 38% in the year to June, securing it a take-home position at number three in the sector behind Bacadi Breezer and Smirnoff Ice. {{DRINKS }}