Portman Group appoints Minton

The Portman Group - the drinks industry's 'sensible drinking' pressure group - has recruited Centrepoint's PR and marketing chief Jim Minton to fill its newly created director of campaigns and communications role.

The role has been created as part of a strengthening of communications activity as the Government prepares to introduce its National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.

Minton's brief includes creating a more strategic approach to lobbying, particularly surrounding the strategy. He will also oversee an expansion of the 'If You Do Do Drink, Don't Do Drunk' campaign.

'We will build on work already done and expand on it. We have an increased budget and can do more with the campaign,' he said.

As part of the strengthening of communications, the two-strong comms and campaigns team has been increased to five, which includes Minton's role.

The national alcohol harm reduction strategy is expected to be unveiled in June, after a consultation period which ended earlier this year. Interim findings are expected this month.

According to Minton, who reports to chief executive Jean Coussins, a key aim is to push the case for self-regulation to ministers, Government officials and MPs .

Minton said: 'This is an industry that regulates itself very well, we think that regulation would be more expensive and time-consuming.'

This view contrasts with those of some charities that took part in the consultation. The Salvation Army and the Methodist Church, for example, have called for cigarette-style health warnings on ads and products.

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