Scottish MPs are considering a ban on certain types of off trade promotions as part of the new Licensing Bill.

The Scottish Executive proposes to outlaw any promotion that relates specifically to an alcoholic drink likely to appeal to under 18s; is based on the strength of alcohol in the product; encourages drinking quickly; or offers alcohol as a prize unless it is in a sealed container and is consumed off the premises. These provisions would apply to the off trade as well as pubs and clubs.

Scottish licensing laws are due to be overhauled to tackle what is seen as a rising tide of alcohol-related crime. While broadly supporting these aims, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) opposed the promotions ban, calling it “unwarranted and unnecessary”.

SRC director Fiona Moriarty said: “When purchased from a shop, alcoholic drinks do not have to be consumed within a certain time limit, so the suggestion that stores should not be able to offer promotions on selected drinks would deny consumers choice and maximum value for money.”