Heineken, Carlsberg, Diageo, AB InBev, Bacardi, Brown-Forman, Pernod Ricard and SABMiller have signed up to the Responsible Marketing Pact, seen as a way to fend off further legislation of alcohol marketing.
The agreement could lead to a public ‘naming and shaming’ of firms that breach rules in the UK, where it’s expected to be monitored by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Among other things, the pact commits firms to have “effective age controls” on web sites, and prevent minors from “inadvertently” seeing adverts for alcoholic drinks on websites including Facebook, and not run ads that are attractive to children.
The companies also said they will only advertise where 70% of the audience is “reasonably expected” to be adults.
Adherence to the pact is to be monitored management consultantcy firm Accenture. The agreement was put together by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the European Commission’s European Alcohol and Health Forum, the latter of which is to monitor the rules and put together a provisional report for the EU by next June, with a final report by February 2015.
Stephan Loerke, WFA managing director, said: “Today marks a turning point in the long-standing commitment of alcohol beverage producers to responsible marketing.
“The Responsible Marketing Pact breaks new ground because it is the first time major companies from the beer, wine, and spirits sectors have come together to seek unified responsibility standards for all alcohol beverage marketing communications”.