The 14 alcoholic beverage companies from which the FTC has requested data are: Anheuser-Busch, Bacardi, Beam, Brown-Forman, Constellation, Diageo, Heaven Hill, Heineken, Jackson Family Wines, Mark Anthony Brands, MillerCoors, Pernod Ricard, Skyy Spirits and William Grant and Sons.
The results of the study will lead to recommendations for beverage industry groups so that the industry can effectively self-police itself. Third-party age verification gates on alcohol manufacturer websites is just one recommendation that has come up in the past as a result of these studies. The last study was conducted in 2008 (pdf).
This year, for the first time, the agency “will request information on Internet and digital marketing and data collection practices.”
Full release below…
The Federal Trade Commission has required 14 major alcoholic beverage advertisers to provide information for the agency’s fourth major study on the effectiveness of voluntary industry guidelines for reducing advertising and marketing to underage audiences by beer, wine, and distilled spirits manufacturers.
For the first time, the agency will request information on Internet and digital marketing and data collection practices. As in previous studies, the FTC also will seek advertising expenditure and placement data, and background information about the advertisers’ business practices.
Previous studies were completed in 1999, 2003, and 2008. Recommendations from past reports have resulted in agreements by the Beer Institute, the Wine Institute, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States to adopt: an improved voluntary advertising placement standard; buying guidelines for placing ads on radio, in print, on television, and on the Internet; a requirement that suppliers conduct periodic internal audits of past placements; and systems for external review of complaints about compliance.
For the latest study, the Commission sought public comment twice last year, in March, and again in November. The orders to provide information, also known as compulsory process orders, were sent to alcoholic beverage advertisers earlier this week.
The Commission vote to authorize the staff to issue the compulsory process orders was 5-0.