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28th October 2022

Independent Complaints Panel seeks two new members

The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) is seeking two new members to help consider complaints brought forward on the naming, packaging, promotion and sponsorship of alcoholic drinks in the UK.

The Portman Group operates an open and accessible complaints system allowing anyone to make a complaint against any product, promotion or alcohol sponsorship that they consider is in breach of the Codes of Practice. All complaints are considered by the Panel, currently chaired by Nicola Williams, and the Portman Group serves as the secretariat to the Panel. Since the Code was first published, over 170 products have been amended or removed from the market.

Panel membership consists of two terms across six years, and vacancies will replace two members whose terms of appointment will be coming to an end.

Members of the Panel represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experience in order to provide perspectives across society. The Panel’s role is to consider the concerns raised by the complainant and the response by the drink’s producer; to evaluate the marketing or sponsorship against the rules of the Codes; and to decide whether a breach has occurred. All Panel decisions are published and effective sanctions are in place to ensure that these decisions are enforced. All recent decisions can be found here.

In order to keep a balance of expertise and experience, the Panel is particularly interested in applicants with alcohol industry experience; an applicant who is or was directly employed by an alcoholic drinks producer or has sound knowledge of the UK alcohol self-regulatory marketing framework.

The Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said: “I am honoured to chair a panel of talented and committed individuals, all devoted to ensuring alcohol is marketed responsibly in the UK. We are now seeking two new members to join us in this task and are particularly interested in hearing from those who have alcohol industry experience.”

The Independent Complaints Panel meets a minimum of six times per year. These posts will be active from 1 March 2023. Panel members are paid an honorarium of £4000 per annum plus the reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

For the full details and to apply, please click here.


For more information contact:

Joseph Meaden

Mobile: 07709 525971

Notes to editors

  1. Below are some of the products amended or removed as a result of the Panel’s decisions. Click through to the decisions page to view more.


  1. A spokesperson is available for interviews upon request.
  2. The Portman Group was formed in 1989. It is the alcohol industry regulator and social responsibility body. It has over 160 Code signatories from producers, retailers and membership bodies.
  3. The Portman Group is funded by 17 member companies: Asahi UK Ltd; Aston Manor Cider; Bacardi; Brown-Forman; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Campari; C&C; Diageo GB; Edrington UK; Heineken UK; Mark Anthony Brands International; Mast-Jäegermeister UK; Molson Coors Beverage Company; Pernod Ricard UK, SHS Drinks; Thatchers’; and Treasury Wine Estates.
  4. The Code of Practice for the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was first published in 1996. In 2021, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Code. The Code seeks to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible way, only to those aged 18 and over, and in a way that does not appeal particularly to those who are vulnerable. The Code has helped create an industry that works effectively within the context of a self-regulatory model, while encouraging design, innovation and creativity. This has been done in an effective, responsive and inexpensive way.
  • Effectively – over 170 products have been amended or removed from the market. Many hundreds more have been helped to adhere to the Code before appearing on shelves through the support of the Advisory Service;
  • Responsively – there have been five updates to the Code over 25 years responding to changes in public attitudes and expanding its reach; all without recourse to Government or Parliamentary time;
  • Inexpensively – the leading members of the industry are currently funding the model for all to be protected at no cost to the public purse.

Press release from Portman Group.

For more information contact Joseph Meaden via or 07709 525971.