The Portman Group has defended the drinks industry against more claims that advertising encourages young people to consume more alcohol.

The body, which is funded by drinks companies, was responding to renewed calls from charity alcohol concern for the government to clamp down on drinks advertising.

The organisation cited US research from the University of Connecticut showing 15 to 26 year olds drink three per cent more per month for each additional dollar invested in promotion.

But the Portman Group said UK restrictions were stricter than those in the US, ensuring adverts did not appeal to those under 18.

Alcohol Concern claims drinking among 11 to 15 year olds has doubled in the last 10 years.