New Department of Health guidelines on labelling for alcoholic drinks are expected in the next few weeks.

The DoH has been working with industry watchdog The Portman Group and other industry representatives to develop a standard drinks label. "The working group is expected to agree the format of information within the next few weeks and will then set a timetable for implementation" said a DoH spokesman.

Sainsbury's was the first retailer to sign up to DoH proposed guidelines for its own-label alcohol products and Pernod Ricard recently announced it would include a warning to pregnant women on all labels.

Diageo said it was committed to ensuring consumers had the knowledge to make informed choices. "We believe labelling will only be effective if it is part of a coherent package of consumer communication around responsible drinking including programmes, interventions, websites and other resources," said corporate relations director Vicki Nobles.