Alcohol brands are being warned that they must be ready to face potential court action for conveying irresponsible messages to consumers through advertising, including the inadvertent targeting of underage drinkers.
The warnings were made at a mental health and alcohol event where attendees raised fears of the growing embrace of influencer marketing, in which bloggers and celebrities are paid to promote brands on social media.
Amy Powell, client relationships manager at marketing consultancy PromoVeritas said: “There has been such a huge influx of influencer marketing being a strategy for brands, from bloggers right up to people like Rita Ora.
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“The thing that alarms me,” Powell said, “is [Rita Ora] has an audience of 14+, and her image has a bottle of Tequila right there on her Instagram. Like I said to brands four years ago, GDPR is coming, and regulators are ready and prepared to go to court in cases like this.”
The Advertising Standards Authority has already banned campaigns for the likes of Captain Morgan Rum and The Macallan for linking drink to individual happiness, confidence and success, approaches which fall foul of the watchdog’s strict guidelines.