Alcohol producers announce new global commitments to help reduce harmful use of alcohol


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On October 9, during ICAP's international conference on “Global Actions: Initiatives to Reduce Harmful Drinking” in Washington D.C, the CEOs of 13 of the world's leading beer, wine and spirits producers announced a new round of collective commitments over the next five years in support of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.

The commitments cover:

• Reducing underage drinking, via enforcement of current laws and encouraging governments to introduce and enforce minimum purchase ages

• Continuing to strengthen and expand marketing codes of practice that are rooted in our resolve not to engage in marketing that could encourage excessive and irresponsible consumption, with a particular focus on digital marketing

• Making responsible product innovations and developing easily understood symbols or equivalent words to discourage drinking and driving and consumption by pregnant women and underage youth

• Reducing drinking and driving by collaborating with governments and non-governmental organizations to educate and enforce existing laws

• Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking and create 'guiding principles of responsible beverage alcohol retailing'

The new commitments in this area build upon the previous industry collaboration on the Global Actions over the course of the last three years. WFA has worked closely with ICAP on implementing the self-regulatory track of the Global Actions, including the adoption of global Guiding Principles for alcohol marketing and strengthening self-regulation in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines and Ukraine.

The new commitments on self-regulation cover the following:

• We commit to take independently verifiable measures (using reasonably available data) within the next 12 months so that print, electronic, broadcast and digital media in which we advertise our products have a minimum 70% adult audience.

• We commit to develop during 2013 a set of global guiding principles for alcohol beverage marketing in digital media that will require the content of any online marketing to meet the same high standards that apply to our traditional marketing activities. With respect to digital 'social media sites', where we are engaged in direct interaction with consumers, we also commit to put in place, where possible, controls to limit under-age access and operate a consumer age affirmation mechanism. We will invite relevant social media providers to work with us to achieve this.

• Over the next 5 years, we commit to take steps to enable non-industry participation where none already exists in self-regulatory processes that enforce code standards, and will undertake to abide by the decisions made.

• We commit to include appropriate contractual language in our agreements with our advertising agencies, where practicable and legal, that will require them to abide by our responsible marketing and promotional codes for our products.

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