The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), which represents major global alcohol producers, partnered with leading advertising, public relations and influencer agencies to sign an Influencer Pledge that sets standards and rules for influencers who market alcohol on social channels. The Pledge is meant to prevent influencer alcohol marketing from reaching minors and to encourage influencers to promote responsible drinking. In addition to the Pledge, the companies created a set of five safeguards applicable to influencers that work with alcohol brands.

Major agencies and communications players signed on, including Dentsu, Evins, ICF Next, and Publicis Groupe, as well as prominent global beer, wine, and spirit companies such as Asahi, Bacardi Limited, Heineken, and Molson Coors.

Given alcohol companies’ increasing involvement in the ever-growing influencer marketing industry, the Pledge includes standards to address advertising disclosures and transparency, local laws and health claims, age-affirming mechanisms, and responsible drinking resources. The IARD believes the Pledge encourages transparency and allows influencers to utilize the correct tools to safeguard their content to help ensure that posts do not reach minors or encourage wrongful consumption of alcohol.

The Pledge signatories recognize the importance of incorporating these standards into contracts and practices, conducting due diligence on influencers, and regularly auditing influencer campaigns for compliance with these new rules. Furthermore, the signatories will assess their relationships with influencers who fail to modify their posts after notification of noncompliance with the standards. Finally, the Pledge expresses the importance of feedback mechanisms for influencers so they can flag issues concerning responsible drinking.

Moreover, the IARD created a how-to video outlining best practices influencers may engage in to partner with various alcohol brands and to promote alcohol on their social channels, such as including labels to indicate sponsored content or ads.

Takeaway: As various companies increasingly utilize influencer marketing to promote their brands, new standards will continue to develop to ensure transparency and consumer protection. These tools will help support brands, agencies, and influencers alike to market products responsibly.