The European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) has revised its code of conduct on marketing.

The Forum, formerly known as The Amsterdam Group, issued the revisions to its so-called 'Common Standards' today (16 March).

The Common Standards on commercial communications set standards for drinks industry marketers across the EU. They apply in addition to relevant national laws and codes. The code includes specific provisions on minors, misuse, drink-driving, health aspects, pregnancy and social and sexual success.

"The revisions of the Common Standards underline the firm commitment of the EFRD members to reinforce self regulation as the most responsive and effective way of promoting responsible marketing practices," said Alan Butler, chairman of EFRD.

The most notable changes include a minimum age of 18 (or relevant national drinking age limit if higher) as the general age limit for commercial communications for all products in EU countries, even where the legal purchase age is lower. 

The adult audience threshold for media audiences in print and broadcast media has also been set at 70%. If more than 30% of an audience is below 18, subscribers to the Common Standards will not advertise. The same provision now specifies that models used in advertisements should be above 25 years of age.

"We will now work to ensure that other companies will be informed about these changes and provide the industry with support on how to apply the new rules," added Philippe Mouton, head of EFRD's task force on responsible marketing.

EFRD Members include Bacardi-Martini, Brown-Forman, Diageo, Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard, Rémy Cointreau and V&S Group.