Portman Group condemn Scottish Government Plan
The Scottish Government are trying hard to solve the issues alcohol abuse causes in Scottish society. In a report entitled ‘Changing Scotland's relationship with Alcohol', they propose a ban on alcohol discount deals and a minimum price per unit. This would end loss-leading special offers, which in Scotland currently include 24 500ml lagers for £7. I feel this is a brilliant move; if I felt he may even reciprocate with even feigned enthusiasm I would offer President Salmond a high-five.
However an alcohol industry watchdog has vigorously condemned the Scottish Government initiative aimed at tackling alcohol abuse. David Poley, Portman Group chief executive (pictured) said that he felt that move shows that the Scottish Government was ‘not listening to reason.'
In spite of the fact that section 3.2 (f) of their code sets out a rule which states an alcohol promotion must not "(f) encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as binge-drinking or drunkenness". It would take an irrational person to categorically deny that selling 24 tins of lager for £7 would not encourage ‘irresponsible consumption'. Coincidentally, we seem to have found one.
"These plans will punish all drinkers while only scratching at the surface of our drinking culture," continues Poley. "People who drink to get drunk would not be influenced by these measures. We should be targeting the harmful drinking minority through better education and effective law enforcement." The Portman Group also commented that the ban on loss-leading promotions would have ‘unintended side effects'.
To accept Mr Portman-Poley's comments would be to accept that:
-pricing has no impact on purchasing decisions and is in no way correlated to purchasing volumes. Economists, somewhat foolishly, thought they had the whole supply and demand malarkey figured out. Not so apparently. I am off to double our prices then watch in despair as our volumes nose-dive whilst reading the world renowned ‘Poley on Microeconomics' (Adam who?) and wondering where we went wrong.
-Most people who buy Fosters while it is on supermarket promotion do so to enjoy it from a snifter with a selection of artisanal cheeses (they are only human)
- sticking your head in the sand is a far better approach than ‘scratching at the surface of a problem'. Does a thousand mile journey not start with a single step? Apparently not.
- The sales of the faceless multinational alcohol corporations are to be valued far higher than the health of members of our society
- No alcoholics buy these offers anyway. Abusers are not interested in the ‘cheapest bang for their buck' but perhaps even avoid loss leading promotions for moral reasons.
-It would make no difference if alcohol is given away for free as people ‘would not be influenced by these measures'
-Because these plans ‘punish all drinkers', all drinkers would have to buy loss-leading promotions. I would have assumed some drinkers don't enjoy the products which run in these promotions. Silly me. All drinkers will be punished.
At the end of the day these measures are going to directly affect the sales of the companies which pay Mr Poley's wages. As ever with the Portman Group the Latin maxim ‘Don't bite the hand that feeds you' seems to hold far more weight that reason and common sense. I also love Mr Poley's melodramatic, almost religious, use of language in an attempt to cover up the complete lack of sense or subject in his argument: ‘All drinkers will be punished'. Just how many sandwich eaters were ‘punished' after the recent price increases in Subway?
Once again the Portman Group principles, as enshrined by their Code, go flying out the window as he makes a disgusting attempt to protect his funder's profits which he clearly values far higher than his code principles; and sadly also the health of the Scottish people. Once again Mr Poley has left the concealed agenda of the Portman Group gapingly exposed. How much longer will we have to suffer this thinly veiled cartel?
As a company BrewDog is all about educating the consumer about responsible consumption and changing people's perceptions about beer. We want to educate people about a different approach to beer and a different way to enjoy beers. We want to show the consumer that beer does not just have to be a cold, fizzy thing, watery drink which you drink 10 bottles of merely to get drunk. We want to educate the drinker about the wonderful depth of flavours and experiences available in artisanal craft brewed products.
We feel the more someone understands and appreciates a drink the less likely they are to abuse it. The fact that these Scottish Government plans would level the pricing playing field somewhat between macro and micro brewed beer might just get some more people understanding what beer is all about.
Posted in - news
- This is great news for Scotland, it will be exstremly had to enforce but itll be great if it goes ahead. magicdave605.03.2009
- It is incredible that the Portman group can think that Brewdog are monsters making people binge drink and batter each other, and generally ruin the world by crafting amazing foodstuffs from their Broch shed, but yet they do not think that the mass advertised cheap drink is any problem! Incredible!
Case in point……..tesco price check….brewdog 330ml bottle at £1:30, Carlsberg (Portman groupie) 18 bottles 440ml at £13:98, if my math is right that’s 77p a bottle, and if it was at 330ml, it works out at around 57p.
So is someone keen on getting overly drunk at the weekend or consistently going to spend £13:98 on the cheap, popular well advertised and displayed lager or spend (for the same fluid amount) £31.00?
- Are brewdog going soft? Supporting a minimum price for booze isnt very punk is it! Ed04.03.2009
- Is this a looky likey with Gollum on the homepage? hahahaha classic :) David04.03.2009
- well said.....trust that guy with my beer?! I would not trust him with my kids! Dave04.03.2009
- Nice Kelly Ryan03.03.2009
- Gents...Spot On! And finally, some sense coming from government.
Classic picture of this dude...would you trust this guys with your beer?
Rock on! Jeff R03.03.2009
- Mind yourself Mr Poley, theres a juggernaut coming thru yer argument.
Its not just the uneven playing field for breweries created by the loss-leading offers, its the attitude these create towards drink.
Buying and then guzzling down quantities of lager served close to freezing point to mask the flavour isnt about refreshment, its about drink for drinks sake. For me, volume over taste lies at the heart of the get-pished-quick drinking culture and I for one will be glad to see ludicrous discounts outlawed.
Peter Peter McI03.03.2009
- Well said. Poley’s comments surely confirm that anyone still under the misapprehension that The Portman Group exist for anything other than to enforce the self interest of its member companies is being taken for a fool. I seriously hope Poley is taken to task over these comments on national television... G Dunbar03.03.2009
- Agree completely.
And well done to the Scottish Government for trying to do something about the appalling alcohol problem that affects many parts of Scotland - including the islands I grew up on. Velky Al03.03.2009
- Quite simply... here here Andrew03.03.2009