Portman Group, the alcohol social responsibility group, has reported 40% increase in the number of drinks producers asking for their marketing to be vetted by the watchdog. Portman's Code Advisory Service examined 356 proposals last year – compared with 250 in 2008. The group's Annual Code Report said that seven complaints were made to the Independent Complaints Panel during 2009. Six were upheld David Poley, the group’s chief executive, said: “This surge in demand for our help is a positive sign, illustrating the growing importance of social responsibility. "Companies want to protect their brand, corporate and industry reputations. They also appreciate the financial value in heading-off any possibly problematic marketing before it goes live. If a complaint is upheld against a product, it can be costly to put right.” He was also critical of calls by the British Medical Association and the Health Select Committee for tougher legislation on drinks marketing. Poley added: “This increased pressure is despite the fact that the weight of evidence suggests that, in a mature market, the predominant effect of responsible marketing will be to encourage brand switching, not harmful consumption. "Government and regulators must maintain an evidence-based approach and resist the clamour for a symbolic clampdown.”