Vodka Advertisements on Facebook

by Sheela Philomena on  September 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
Alcohol giant Diageo's recent announcement of its deal with Facebook has raised underage drinking concerns.

Diageo will use the website, which is used by tens of thousands of youngsters every day, to promote its most popular brands, including Smirnoff Ice, Baileys and Guinness.
 Vodka Advertisements on Facebook
Vodka Advertisements on Facebook

The firm insists the advertisements will be displayed only on areas of the site that cannot be seen by anyone under 18.

But the British Medical Association, as well as leading academics, have said they have "serious concerns" about the deal.

They point out that Facebook has no way of preventing children from seeing the ads if they lie about their age.

"The BMA has serious concerns about this deal. We know that drinking among young people is on the increase and we also know that children spend a lot of time on Facebook," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Vivienne Nathanson, director of professional activities at the British Medical Association, as saying.

"Their access to alcohol marketing will be very difficult to regulate. This shows how the alcohol industry needs to be regulated in order to curb alcohol misuse," she stated.

Professor Linda Bauld, an expert in alcohol misuse at Stirling University in Scotland, added: "Companies like Diageo are wanting to recruit drinkers of a young age and using Facebook is a key way of getting to children.

"It's Facebook's responsibility to think very carefully about who is able to advertise on their site," she stated.

Meanwhile a Facebook spokesman commented: "Facebook has tools in place to ensure people only see age-appropriate content on our site.

"Unlike other methods of display advertising, such as television, billboards or newspapers, Facebook offers advertisers the ability to target adverts by precise age and restricts all alcohol advertising to all over 18 only in the UK," the spokesman added.

Source: ANI

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