MEDIA RELEASE 21st November 2019

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has announced a partnership with global digital platforms to further control access by minors to alcohol advertising. NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC), a member of IARD, said today the partnership between IARD and Facebook (incl. Instagram), Snapchat, and YouTube will see new standards of marketing responsibility developed and rolled out worldwide.

“We all have a part to play in reducing alcohol harm, particularly where young people are concerned. Recent government research shows that while 58.3% of 15- to 17-year-olds drank alcohol in the past year, this figure has decreased 16.2% since 2006/07. This is good progress, but there is more work to be done to continue this downward trend. Targeted education programmes and safeguards around young people’s access to online alcohol marketing are a step in the right direction,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.

The partnership aims to prevent minors seeing or interacting with alcohol marketing online and will roll out safeguards that help ensure that all new alcohol-related channels or campaigns are marketed responsibly online.

It also aims to further limit the potential for underage online users to see advertising by beer, wine, and spirits brands – whether or not they have provided an accurate date of birth. IARD members are working to implement age screening on online channels, complemented by specific and platform-appropriate technology to help ensure marketing reaches those over the legal purchase age.

“Every effort is made to ensure those who are not yet 18 years of age do not view alcohol-related content in New Zealand and we have robust advertising standards around alcohol. For example, companies restrict access by age-gating their Instagram pages and ensuring Facebook posts and advertisements are only seen by those over 18 years of age. By working together and through a global commitment, we as an industry can achieve better community outcomes,” says Bridget.

This initiative also respects adults’ personal preferences and cultural differences with the safeguards also aiming to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online.

IARD is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to reducing harmful drinking. It is supported by leading global beer, wine, and spirits producers, who have come together to be part of the solution in combating the harmful use of alcohol.