Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Legally Advertising Your Beverage on Facebook

How can a brand legally promote alcohol on Facebook? Given Facebook’s pervasiveness across all age demographics, social media promotions have become a necessary component to traditional advertising campaigns. Are you familiar with Facebook’s official rules governing alcohol advertisement? Here is a breakdown below.

Target your regions individually. Different areas possess different laws regarding the promotion of alcohol. Familiarize yourself with the rules and restrictions of each locality in question before creating an advertisement to run.

Convey the age and nationality of your target audience through your advertisement. Ads may only be displayed to users whose age and country can be determined. 

Be transparent. Advertisements should never include content intended to appeal to individuals who are underage, pregnant, or nursing. Ads should never convey dishonest or misleading messages about alcoholic beverages, portray people consuming them with abandon, or reference intoxication. 

Associations between alcoholic consumption and achievement/ positive benefits of any kind should be avoided along with references to driving and violent, dangerous, and/or antisocial behavior. 

Include a disclaimer. Facebook recommends that ‘all alcohol ads contain text that promotes drinking responsibly (for example “Drink Responsibly,” “Drink Smart” or other similar text customarily used in the targeted market).’ For a more complete list of rules, read through Facebook's Rules regarding alcohol advertisement.

In summary, many of the rules governing the advertisement of alcohol on print and television also apply on Facebook. Yet given the plastic and evolving nature of social media, it is always a good idea to thoroughly research these guidelines, especially with regard to target audiences, for currency and legality before creating an ad campaign to run on Facebook.

This month, we discussed how to legally advertise alcohol on Facebook. In our next post, we will outline ways to run legal promotions for your alcoholic beverage.

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