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NZ Beer, Wine And Spirits Join Digital Platforms To Prevent Those Underage From Seeing Advertisements Online

Six leading digital platforms – Google, Meta, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok, and X – have joined forces with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) beer, wine and spirits companies to further strengthen standards of responsibility for advertising on digital channels worldwide.

In New Zealand IARD members Asahi, DB Breweries, Lion NZ and Pernod Ricard support this initiative and the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council is also a member of IARD.

“This pioneering partnership aims to build confidence in age-assurance systems online and to help ensure alcohol advertising is directed only at adults who can legally purchase beer, wine and spirits”, says NZABC executive director Virginia Nicholls.

“Anyone underage should not consume alcohol and we want to prevent the sales, marketing and advertising of age-restricted products to those underage.”

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.

Key outcomes include:

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

• 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

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standards for influencer marketing.

• Millions of advertisers can age-gate online marketing on digital platforms.

As part of this public announcement, digital companies have shared transparency reports on current platform-specific policies and practices in place to assure age.

A global study by Nielsen (2021) using avatar technology found 0.82% of ads seen online are for alcohol.

“Fewer young people in NZ under 18 are drinking alcohol and those who do are drinking less hazardously. However more work needs to be done to continue to accelerate these changes.”

According to the NZ Youth 2000 survey an increasing proportion of secondary school students are choosing not to drink. The proportion of secondary students who have never drunk alcohol increased markedly from 26% in 2007, to 45% in 2019.

Over time, young people are drinking less often. In the total student population, young people who used alcohol in the past month fell between 2007 and 2019 from 49% in 2007 to 34% in 2019.

In NZ the proportion of secondary students (13 – 18 years) who reported ever drinking alcohol decreased from 82% in 2001 to 55% in 2019 . This is a reduction of 27 percentage points.

As technology evolves, IARD members and digital platforms are collectively committed to further strengthening safeguards by 2025 so all stakeholders can be confident that age-assurance methodologies on digital platforms are robust.

IARD members have recently supported:

  • the IARD Global Standards Coalition united in further accelerating reductions in the harmful use of alcohol and promote moderation among those who choose to drink.
  • Actions to prevent underage drinking.

Providing free resources for retail staff and servers, to help serve and deliver alcohol responsibly. These resources are intended to complement, rather than replace existing material and to provide guidance where nothing is in place.

About the New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council

The NZ Alcohol Beverages Council is a pan-industry group that comments publicly on matters relating to the beer, wine, spirits and beverages industry. It focuses on supporting responsible alcohol consumption and wants to see a fair and balanced debate on alcohol regulation in New Zealand.

About IARD

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing harmful drinking and promoting understanding of responsible drinking. We are supported by the leading global beer, wine, and spirits producers, who have come together for a common purpose: to be part of the solution in combating harmful drinking. To advance this shared mission, IARD works and partners with public sector, civil society, and private stakeholders. 

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