The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has partnered with technology and social media companies to “strengthen standards of responsibility” around alcohol advertising on digital channels.

In a joint statement, drinks companies and the IARD said they have “actively strengthened marketing codes” and embedded digital safeguards across their online channels.

They said this has taken the form of “age-screening mechanisms” such as age-gate or age confirmation requirements on social media channels and companies’ own websites.

Part of the IARD’s stated harm reduction initiatives and outcomes is creating mechanisms for age-gating of posts made by influencers, as well on digital platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

However, these age-gates have no legal requirements attached and no identification is required to pass them. For example, Just Drinks was able to create a Pinterest and X (Twitter) account in minutes and was able to see drink related content without providing ID.

A spokesperson for Meta said: “We want people to have safe, positive experiences online and have spent a decade developing tools, features, and resources designed to protect people on our platform. Partnerships like IARD are a critical way for the industry to come together around aligned standards for the advertising of alcoholic beverages.”

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The IARD is a non-profit organisation that seeks to reduce harmful drinking by working with industry and the public sector. Its beverage industry members include Kirin Holdings, AB InBev, Bacardi, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, William Grant & Sons, Molson Coors and Heineken.

The non-profit said its members are on-track to reach “95% compliance with Digital Guiding Principles” by the end of year. These guidelines include the use of age-affirmation mechanisms, user-generated content policies and the display of responsible drinking messages.

Pernod Ricard CEO and IARD Chair Alexandre Ricard said: “Social media is a critical element of our long-standing efforts to prevent minors seeing our marketing. We are pleased to have found some great allies in the digital platforms who have demonstrated their willingness to put effective age assurance in place.”