The European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) has released new guidance for drinks companies in the region, covering marketing on the Internet, as well as digital and mobile communications.

The guidelines, unveiled earlier this week, will form an "integral part" of the trade body's 'Common Standards for Commercial Communications', set to be implemented by the membership no later than 30 June. They cover brand and product promotion websites as well as web pages of EFRD member companies.

The guidelines have been subject to a consultation with external stakeholders including all participants of the marketing communications task force of the Alcohol & Health Forum of the European Union's Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs (DG SANCO).

"I am delighted with the dynamic and open process within which these new standards were set and I hope that DG SANCO will consider the EFRD approach as a good example of best practice for the Alcohol & Health Forum," said EFRD chair, Elizabeth Crossick. "EFRD members are very satisfied with the consultation, the comments and suggestions received and are pleased to report that the vast majority has been taken on board".

Among the key elements of the guidelines are the inclusion of age confirmation on accessing the site, responsible drinking messages accompanied by reference to dedicated responsible drinking websites, specific guidance on how to apply the placement provision on 70/30-audience threshold for minors and specific rules applying to downloadable items from brand sites.

EFRD members include Bacardi-Martini, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Diageo, and Pernod Ricard.