The ruling follows ASB’s investigation into complaints about comments posted by users on Diageo’s Smirnoff Facebook page.
Speaking to Drinks International, the Diageo CEO said: “It’s a strange ruling that brand owners are responsible for what people say about brands.”
Asked whether the ruling sounded alarm bells for Diageo and whether it would impact its global social media strategy, Andy Fennell, chief marketing officer at Diageo, said: “Any ruling [from a country’s legislative body] is an alarm bell. We prefer it when countries prefer not to legislate.
“We have a rigorous code – we filter for decency and appropriateness but not the editorial direction of comments.”