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First global standards for influencer alcohol marketing

Influencers working with some of the world’s most iconic brands will be subject to the first-ever industry-wide set of global standards for influencer marketing, under a new partnership aimed at further concrete steps towards preventing minors from seeing any alcohol marketing online and reducing harmful drinking among adults.

The global initiative launched by International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), whose members are the leading global beer, wine, and spirits producers, in partnership with 13 leading advertising, public relations, and influencer agencies, will help ensure alcohol marketing by social influencers is clearly recognized, responsibly advertised, and aimed at an audience over the legal purchase age. Influencer marketing across all sectors is predicted to grow to $13.8 billion by the end of 2021.

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

As well as the pledge, the move to formalize safeguards for influencer marketing includes:

  • A set of five specific safeguards that apply to any content involving influencers who work with the leading beer, wine, and spirits producers
  • Tools and videos that support all alcohol brands and influencers to follow robust responsible marketing practices when creating content
  • Clear commitments to market responsibly, including not making health claims, promoting illegal or excessive consumption, or positioning abstinence negatively

This work builds on ongoing actions by IARD members to ensure 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.

Albert Baladi, President and CEO of Beam Suntory and Chair of IARD CEO Group, said:

“This partnership reflects the significant work that IARD members have already undertaken and the shared determination with the world’s leading advertising, public relations, and influencer agencies to do even more to prevent minors from seeing alcohol advertising online.

These standards directly address some of the biggest concerns facing the marketing community right now. By offering more transparency and giving those at the heart of content creation the correct tools to safeguard their content, we are able to expand on the significant progress and marketing codes of practice already in place to ensure that these posts do not reach minors or encourage any kind of irresponsible consumption.”

Henry Ashworth, IARD President and CEO, said:

“This is a world-first initiative in raising collective standards of responsibility across multiple digital channels, and we call on our partners in the alcohol, advertising, and influencer industries to join us in our ongoing work to ensure that alcohol marketing across all forms of media is responsible.

“This is a major step in preventing minors from seeing any alcohol marketing and IARD is proud to have united the world’s leading agencies to help raise global standards.

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