David Poley

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Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.
David Poley

David Poley joined The Portman Group in 1997 and became its Chief Executive in September 2006, he remained in this post until 2011. The Portman Group is the UK alcohol producers’ social responsibility organisation. He has been heavily involved in the development of the industry’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks. Previously, David worked at the Advertising Standards Authority where he was responsible for overseeing the pre-publication advice given to advertisers and media on the acceptability of advertisements. This followed a period working in market research.[1]

Defending the Alcohol Industry

Poley reacted angrily to research by Professor Gerald Hastings published in the BMJ that claimed the alcohol industry was acting irresponsibly and more should be done to control its practices.[2]. He said: “Gerard Hastings trawled through thousands of pages of internal company marketing documents on behalf of the Health Committee. He failed to find any evidence of malpractice. He therefore resorts to slurs and innuendos... We wish Gerard Hastings would publish his criticisms in an advert. The Advertising Standards Authority could then rightly ban it for being misleading.” [3].

David Poley and Claire Harkins exchanges views on alcohol control policy and the alcohol industry in People and Science, the magazine of The British Science Association in January 2011. [4]

Ashworth Replaces Poley as Portman CEO

Henry Ashworth replaced David Poley as chief executive of The Portman Group in September 2011. [5] it is not known if Poley has another job, he agreed to stay on as chief executive until a replacement was found after he announced his resignation in June 2011. [6]


  1. The Portman GroupWho We Are Accessed March 2007
  2. Hastings G. BMA Under the influence: the damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people accessed January 2010
  3. Eley, Matt 21 January, 2010 The Publican, Industry defends alcohol adverts against "slurs and innuendos"
  4. Spinwatch 18th February England’s drinking habit is a problem for everybody, not just addicts
  5. Marketing Week 19th September 2011 Portman Group hires public health expert as CEO accessed 19th September 2011
  6. Marketing Week 17th June 2011 Portman Group chief to leave accessed June 20th 2011