Digital Platforms and IARD Enhance Online Marketing for Alcohol


In response to an initiative from alcohol advertisers, leading digital platforms Meta, TikTok, Snap, X, Pinterest and YouTube are taking robust steps to strengthen age-assurance systems to prevent alcohol from being marketed to minors and adults who wish to opt out of alcohol marketing.

In partnership with the beer, wine and spirits companies which comprise the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), these digital platforms have issued a joint statement announcing their commitment to further enhance online safeguards. As part of this collaboration, each digital platform has committed to publishing transparency reports outlining the measures in place to protect those who are underage and vulnerable from being shown alcohol advertising, according to the statement.

“Since 2018, IARD has been working in partnership with digital platforms to enhance responsibility standards for alcohol-related marketing online in support of UN goals to reduce harmful drinking,” says IARD’s managing director Puja Darbari. “This pioneering partnership aims to build confidence in age-assurance systems online and to help ensure online alcohol advertising is directed only at adults who wish to engage with drinks brands.”

Digital Platform Safeguards

As part of this unique collaboration, Google, Meta, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok and X have all shared transparency reports that summarize the platform-specific safeguards, particularly the policies and practices they have in place to assure age.

As a result of these platform-specific safeguards:

  • Hundreds of thousands of influencers around the world can now age-gate posts.
  • Leading global marketing and advertising agencies are signed up to the first ever global standards for influencer marketing.
  • Millions of advertisers can age-gate online marketing on digital platforms.

“IARD members are on track to reach 95% compliance with Digital Guiding Principles by the end of 2024,” Darbari mentions. “The five safeguards on brand channels include: age-affirmation mechanism, transparency, user generated content policy, forward advice notice and responsible drinking message.”

The Future of Digital Marketing

“Social media is a critical element of our long-standing efforts to prevent minors seeing our marketing. We are pleased to have found some great allies in the digital platforms who have demonstrated their willingness to put effective age assurance in place,” says Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard and IARD Chair. “This global initiative shows how the private sector can come together to raise international standards of responsibility, and we call on others to join us.”

“We want to create positive experiences for adults who choose to interact with alcohol brands, while taking action to prevent those under legal purchase age from inadvertently seeing alcohol advertising online,” says Darbari. “It is important that all stakeholders have confidence that those underage are not seeing ads online.”