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Diageo helps pioneer responsible marketing online

Diageo believes that the web, social networking sites, blogs and mobile applications provide vitally important new ways to interact with our consumers. We also believe that our digital marketing should comply with the same high standards that apply in more traditional media.

EFRD

Working as part of the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD), an alliance of Europe's leading spirits companies, and with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the body representing the leading spirits firms in the United States, Diageo helped to drive the agreement in September 2011 of shared standards for the online marketing of spirits like whisky, vodka, rum and tequila. Aligned and strengthened standards are now in force across what are the world’s two largest alcohol advertising markets.

They require: marketing on channels only where more than 70% of users are expected to be over the legal purchase age; ‘age-gating’ before direct dialogue between advertisers and consumers on company-owned brand websites; regular monitoring of brand pages and sites and the removal of inappropriate user-generated content; and visible instructions urging individuals to forward downloaded digital content only to adults over the legal purchase age.

The idea is that the standards are principles-based, so that they can be applied to both current and emerging digital media, ensuring the industry is ahead of the game as technology changes. The principles also govern online privacy, ensuring full compliance with data protection and other privacy rules.

Whatever new technologies emerge, our priority is that the alcohol industry always talks to its consumers responsibly. We believe that these standards help demonstrate the industry’s leadership in social responsibility on social media and provide evidence that self-regulation is an effective response to the challenge of managing the impact of new technologies.