On the 16th of April a report was published that the alcohol industry will launch a first imitative to self –regulated advertising to combat abuses across media. Under the Responsible Marketing Pact Europe’s eight largest alcohol manufactures including Bacardi, Heineken, Carlsberg and Pernod Ricard have agreed to work with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), the European Commission and national authorities to protect underage consumers from advertisements in social media such as Facebook or movies. Under the pact a common standard will be established, ads may only be placed in media where at least 70% of the audience is expected to be above the legal purchase age. Standards, implementation and compliance will we monitored by Accenture and national self-regulatory organisations.
Despina Spanou health department strategy chief said: We want it [the alcohol industry] to show that self-regulation can deliver results, but they need to demonstrate that it can work,” adding that Commission President José Manuel Barroso had personally indicated a preference for more rigorous health warning labels, this according to an interview with EurActiv.
Coincidently, one day (17th April) later it was announced that Heineken will be the new sponsor (approximately worth $45 million) of the upcoming James Bond movie. The famous Martini “shaken not stirred” will be exchanged for a Heineken beer. In most EU countries the legal age limit to watch the actions of James Bond on the big screen is 12 or 16 years.
It has to show whether the Responsible Marketing Pact will have a positive effect on the health of consumers or is just an action of showing good will regarding the forthcoming review of the EU alcohol strategy, to be expected beginning 2013.