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New Twitter Tool Gives Greenlight to Alcohol Brands

on 04/06/12 at 11:00 am


But Marketers Are Still Figuring Out How to Use It While Complying With Industry Self-Regulations.

In the race for attention from booze marketers, Twitter has lagged Facebook, which has inked high-profile ad deals with the likes of Heineken and Diageo. But Twitter is making up ground, thanks in part to an age-checking tool being tested by big brands such as Coors Light.

Twitter is making the changes in response to lobbying from the alcohol industry, whose revised marketing code requires brands to check ages before engaging fans on social media. At the same time, beer, wine and spirits marketers could soon face more scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which is seeking digital-marketing data from alcohol advertisers for its next major study on booze marketing.

Age-gating has been smoother on Facebook because users enter birthdates when signing up. But checking birthdates on Twitter has been the digital Wild West. Some brands ask users to direct-message their birthdates, while others state that by following a brand the user is confirming he or she is 21. Diageo, meanwhile, has partnered with social-technology shop Syncapse to create its own age-gating tool. And some big brands stayed off Twitter altogether.

Twitter is partnering with social-media-management company Buddy Media on a new tool to bring uniformity to the process. “For now, we are testing this solution with a small group of advertisers. We will determine next steps after the conclusion of these tests,” Twitter told Ad Age in a statement.