Major producers in the beer, wine, and spirits industries recently introduced global guidelines for advertising and marketing online. The guidelines are meant to standardize marketing practices across all digital platforms with the aim of reducing harmful drinking and promoting responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. The guidelines are the result of a collaboration between thirteen alcohol producers and the World Federation of Advertisers in connection with the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. A major goal of the guidelines is to minimize the risk of alcoholic beverage marketing reaching underage audiences. Highlights of the guidelines include principles such as only disseminating marketing on platforms where at least 70% of the audience is of legal drinking age, including a responsible drinking message in all communications, monitoring user-generated content on social media for compliance with the guidelines, and utilizing a “Forward Advance Notice” on digital platforms with sharing functionality to remind consumers not to forward content to those below the legal purchasing age.

TIP: Alcohol companies should become familiar with the guidelines and remember that digital advertising, including social media, is generally subject to the same standards as traditional advertising.