Irish industry to adopt alcohol marketing standards by social media influencers

Ireland’s drinks industry has pledged to adopt the first-ever industrywide set of global standards for ‘influencer marketing’ under a new partnership aimed at setting further concrete steps towards tackling alcohol misuse and underage drinking.
Under the pledge, producers and advertisers commit to conducting diligence on influencers used.

Under the pledge, producers and advertisers commit to conducting diligence on influencers used.

The global initiative, launched by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking – whose members are the leading global beer, wine and spirits producers in partnership with advertising, public relations and influencer agencies – will help ensure alcohol marketing by social influencers is clearly-recognised, responsibly advertised and aimed at an audience that’s over the legal purchase age.

This pledge builds on ongoing actions by IARD members 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.

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

As well as the pledge, the move to formalise 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 world-first initiative will offer more transparency and give those at the heart of content creation the correct tools to safeguard their content according to Drinks Ireland Director Patricia Cullen.

“In Ireland, we have some of the strictest rules in the world for advertising alcohol including around the use of influencers and this pledge will help further strengthen protections online,” she sated.

“There has been strong progress in Ireland in tackling alcohol misuse and underage drinking. In 2020 alcohol consumption was 29.8% lower than the peak of 2001.

“Separately, a Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey by the World Health Organisation found that Irish 10-17 year-olds who reported having ever been drunk declined by 19% between 1998 and 2018, to 18.3% – and we have a very low level of underage drinking compared with other countries.”


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