DISCUS issues digital marketing guidelines to brands

22 September, 2011

The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) and the European Forum for Responsible Drinking have issued guidelines for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing.

Effective September 30, the guidelines apply to branded digital marketing and communications, including social networking sites, websites, blogs, mobile communications and other applications.

The guidelines require:

- ‘Age-gating’ before direct dialogue between advertisers and

- Privacy policies to ensure protections regarding data
collection and use of personal information

- Regular monitoring of brand pages and sites and removal of
inappropriate user-generated content

- Clearly identifying brand marketing as such in digital
marketing communications/ product promotions such as blogs

- Visible instructions urging individuals to forward
downloadable digital content only to adults of legal drinking age

According to DISCUS, the guidelines will be reviewed regularly and updated as technology evolves.

DISCUS president Peter Cressy said: "Social media has become an increasingly important marketing channel to reach adult consumers of legal purchase age.

"These new digital guidelines reflect our companies' strong commitment to extend their responsible marketing practices to these emerging media platforms."

Under the DISCUS code, beverage alcohol advertising and marketing should be placed in media only where at least 71.6% of the audience is reasonably expected to be of the legal purchase age.

Acording to DISCUS, the most recent Nielsen online syndicated data (August 2011) showed Facebook's audience was 82% 21 years of age or older; that Twitter's audience was 87% 21 plus; and that YouTube's  was 81% 21 and over. 

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