writes about the launch of a free tool designed to help alcohol brands market only to people of legal drinking age on Twitter. Companies Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and MillerCoors have tested the tool for a month and now the service is open to other brands as well. Alcohol producers describe this twitter age-gate as the holy grail of responsible marketing, but will this really stop minors from exposure to their ads?

The new feature, developed by Buddy Media, works as follows: When someone attempts an alcohol brand on Twitter, they will automatically receive a direct message on Twitter from the company, directing them to an age screening page. When the user gives an age that meets the requirement of their local drinking law, the consumers will be able to follow alcohol brands.

In the article on, an executive officer of Jim Beam reacts relieved that her company can now use Twitter “without worrying as much about attracting underage drinkers.” Because earlier her team “had to manually tweet to new followers to verify their age.”

The Jim Beam exec went on to say: “So now that we have this, I think you will see a lot more activity from us across all of our brands.” (…) “I think you’ll see us doing more of the Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends and other advertising on Twitter. We know that our [of-age] consumers are there. We know we need to be there.”
But it is generally excepted that age gates such as these are not effective. Anyone can give up a false age, and no one is able to verify this. While there may not be another solution to the problem of minors being exposed to digital alcohol marketing at the moment, the state of the art is not satisfying.

EUCAM would also like to point out that, despite all the fuss surrounding the launch of this new age gate (now five days ago), signing up on the Twitter accounts of Jim Beam and Millercoors did not give us the promised direct message with a link to their age gate.

Source: 07/12/12

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