This summer America’s digital advertisements for alcoholic beverages will be put under inspection of the United States Federal Trade Commission. As a part of the agency’s periodic review to test the effectiveness of the industry’s voluntary guidelines, the FTC will look at the exposure of underage audiences.
A similar analysis of US alcohol producers’ digital marketing initiatives was done in 2008. Back then, the FTC concluded that only 2 percent of marketing budgets were spent on online advertising, other digital promotions and product placement. Since this measurement was completed before the explosion in mobile apps and social media, it is expected that things have changed dramatically. Because alcohol marketers over recent years have expanded their presence in social media significantly, this new measurement is effectively the first time the FTC takes a look in the machinery of digital alcohol marketing.
Companies like Anheuser-Busch, Diageo and Pernod Ricard have been ordered to hand over figures on their use of digital marketing and data collection practices, before June 11 of this year.
According to Adweek, FTC attorney Janet Evans, said the agency has widened the scope of its research in reaction to comments from the Center for Digital Democracy and the Berkeley Media Studies Group of the Public Health Institute. [link=http://www.digitalads.org/documents/BMSG-CDD-Digital-Alcohol-Marketing.pdf]According to a study by these two groups[/link], digital alcohol marketing is particularly attractive to young people and should be put under more scrutiny by advocates, public health researchers, and regulators.
Source: Adweek 04/12/12