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Drinks firms launch EU-wide marketing rules

16 Apr 2012 2:02 BST Back
Drinks firms launch EU-wide marketing rules
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Eight of Europe’s biggest drinks firms have agreed to introduce continent-wide rules on the marketing of alcohol in an effort to pre-empt tighter regulation. 

Carlsberg, Diageo and Bacardi are among the companies that have agreed the Responsible Marketing Pact, which launches today (16 April). 

The companies will work with national trade associations and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) to establish common standards on social media marketing and age appropriate advertising in all 27 member states. 

A key target of this voluntary agreement is not to target children on social media and ensure that minors do not inadvertently see alcohol marketing on social networking sites like Facebook. 

Drinks brands have said they will introduce effective age verification standards on ads and user-generated content on their official fan pages. 

The eight firms say they will only buy advertising in media “where at least 70% of the audience is reasonable expected to be above legal purchase age”. They also agree that the ads must not be attractive to children. 

The Responsible Marketing Pact follows pressure from the European Alcohol Health Forum (EAHF) to introduce harmonised rules across the EU. 

The other drinks firms that have signed the pact are AB InBev, Brown-Forman, Heineken, Pernod Ricard and SAB Miller.

The Responsible Marketing Pact

1. “Prevent minors from inadvertently seeing alcohol beverage marketing communications on social media.” 

Common standards on age verification, the use of Facebook Sponsored Stories for marketing purposes, user generated content will be established.

2. “Set a common adult demographic standard for alcohol beverage marketing communications across all media, thereby limiting undue exposure of minors to drinks ads.” 

A common stipulation that ads may only be placed in media where at least 70% of the audience is reasonably expected to be above 18.

3. “Prohibit any alcohol beverage marketing communications that might be particularly attractive to minors by ensuring that the content of ads appeals primarily to adults.” 

Consistent guidelines and enforcement to ensure ads primarily appeal to adults over 18.

EHAF will monitor the Responsible Marketing Pact rules and produce a provisional report by June 2013. 

Posted by

Smarayda Christoforou

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