Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) has put its support behind the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking’s (IARD) new global standards pledge for influencer marketing.

The IARD comprises the world’s leading global beer, wine and spirits producers and has partnered with 13 leading advertising and influencer agencies for the new global standards. The pledge aims to help ensure alcohol marketing by social influencers is clearly recognised, responsibly advertised, and aimed at an audience over the legal purchase age.

Under the pledge, producers and advertisers commit to conducting diligence on influencers used, to using age-affirmation technology on platforms where available, and to promoting better understanding of responsible alcohol consumption, for those who choose to drink.

ABA CEO Andrew Wilsmore said: “This new joint pledge demonstrates how our industry remains dedicated to promoting its world-class products in a responsible and transparent manner.

“The pledge complements existing requirements of Australian marketers set by the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code, in particular a requirement to age restrict influencer marketing and guidance for influencer marketing included in the ABAC Digital Alcohol Marketing Best Practice Guide. 

“We strongly support the work undertaken by both ABAC and IARD and encourage our own Australian marketers within the industry to become acquainted with the standards and ensure any future engagement with influencers is compliant.”

The states:

WE BELIEVE:

  • In disclosure and transparency – so that posts are clearly identified as marketing content
  • In abiding by local laws and being responsible in our communications by:
    • Not making health claims
    • Not promoting illegal behavior or excessive consumption
    • Not encouraging alcohol consumption to those under legal purchase age
    • Not linking the product to social and sexual success
    • Not positioning abstinence negatively
  • In preventing those under legal purchase age from seeing alcohol marketing online
    • by using age-affirmation mechanisms where possible, using influencers that are at least 25 years old where
    • effective age-affirmation isn’t in place, and who primarily appeal to adult audiences
  • In promoting understanding of responsible drinking, for those who choose to drink
    • by pointing to, where appropriate, reliable third-party online resources and including messages that discourage
    • heavy drinking, drinking during pregnancy, drink driving, and drinking if underage

WE RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE OF:

  •  Incorporating these standards into our contracts and practice
  • Conducting due diligence to help ensure influencers have no reputational association with harmful drinking
  • Monitoring posts and asking the influencer to fix or remove posts that do not comply; if the influencer does not address issues within 72 hours of notification then we will reassess our relationship with them
  • Regularly auditing and monitoring campaigns for compliance
  • Building in feedback mechanisms so that influencers can flag any engagement or issues around responsible drinking with an agency or brand

This pledge builds on ongoing actions by the industry to implement safeguards for alcohol advertising online, including the Digital Guiding Principles and partnerships with YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat to improve age screening, enabling users to opt out of alcohol marketing, and allowing content creators to age-gate posts.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of TheShout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both TheShout and Bars and Clubs.

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