East Africa Breweries Limited’s main shareholder, Diageo PLC, Thursday joined the world’s 13 leading alcohol and wine makers in signing a commitment to reduce harmful consumption of their products.
The Digital Guiding Principles (DGP), the first-ever set of global guidelines for beverage alcohol producers’ Internet advertising and social media use, require the content of any online marketing to meet the same high standards that apply to traditional marketing activities.
The launch event, hosted by the International Centre for Alcohol Policies in New York, was attended by leaders in the fields of advertising self-regulation, alcohol policy, regulators, and representatives of signatory companies.
DPG’s initiatives include measures to reduce underage drinking, drink-driving and enlisting the support of retailers in bid to curb alcohol abuse.
“The signatory companies call on social media providers to implement and strengthen age confirmation mechanisms but the DGPs also include conditions for producers to consider even in the absence of these mechanisms, so that stringent standards may be applied to social media content across all platforms in a way that can evolve with the rapid pace of technology,” it said.
The DPG also affirms that whenever alcohol beverage companies’ controlled digital platforms have the functionality to allow content sharing, alcohol beverage companies should include a forward advice notice on the platform, clearly stating that the content should not be forwarded to anyone under legally permitted age in the country of viewing.
“The goal is to raise awareness and remind readers and viewers that we must restrict underage access to alcohol advertising, in addition to restricting access to beverage alcohol itself,” it said.
The other signatories are Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, Bacardi, Japanese Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association, Beam Inc., Molson Coors, Brewers Association of Japan, Pernod Ricard, Brown-Forman, SABMiller, Carlsberg and UB Group.
“As companies work to promote responsible consumption of their products, the DGPs’ goal is to ensure that they take every step possible to minimize the risk of content reaching underage audiences,” said World Federation of Advertisers director General Stephan Loerke.