Alliance between drinks giants and tech firms could let people opt out of alcohol ads online

Kronenbourg owner Carlsberg Group is among those to have signed up

Eleven top beer, wine, and spirits companies, including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Carlsberg and AB InBev have announced a collaboration with Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter that could, in time, let people opt out of alcohol ads.

In teaming up, the businesses have also pledged to to create "up-to-date" safeguards to prevent under-18s being targeted by ads promoting alcohol.

The four tech firms have teamed up with the eleven brands that currently represent the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). Together, they have committed to more "robust standards of responsibility’ on the world’s most prominent digital platforms."

The companies involved have agreed to:

  • ensure the "most-up-to-date safeguards" are used so that marketing communications relating to beer, wine and spirits are directed to those adults who can lawfully buy these products
  • ​ explore "what changes can be made to further diminish chances of those underage seeing this advertising"
  • ​ explore ways "people can have greater control over whether they see alcohol advertising and opt out of receiving advertisements for alcohol products"

The IARD said: “We believe our partnership has the potential to go beyond our individual companies and could create change across a range of platforms and advertisers, ultimately benefitting the thousands of businesses who want to advertise responsibly and the billions of people who use digital platforms every day.”

The announcement follows on from drinks brands and consumers airing concerns about ad targeting functions on apps like Snapchat and Facebook.

Earlier this year, Captain Morgan owner Diageo paused ad spend with Snapchat and YouTube amid concerns the ads could be seen by children. The Drum has reached out to the company to clarify if the IARD announcement will have any impact on that strategy.

Facebook too, recently came under fire for "turning a blind eye" to underage users signing up to use the platform, compounding drink and gambling brands' concerns around misplacement.

Earlier this month the Advertising Standards Authority banned a series of Facebook posts authored by The Scottish Gin Society for encouraging excessive drinking.

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