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Major liquor firms suggest voluntary ad guidelines


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Extracted from the Bangkok Post




An alliance of major alcohol producers and importers yesterday released recommendations for voluntary advertising guidelines, to reduce young people's exposure to alcohol promotions. The alliance comprises Bacardi (Thailand) Ltd, Riche Monde (Bangkok) Ltd, Pernod Ricard (Thailand) Ltd, Thai Asia Pacific Brewery Ltd and Siam Winery Trading Plus Ltd.


The concept of voluntary guidelines was introduced in November as the government began a push for a total ban on the advertising of alcoholic beverages.


A statement issued by the liquor industry alliance said the guidelines committee assessed each communications channel using the AC Nielsen Media Index _ which covers TV, radio, newspapers and magazines _ to determine the percentage of young viewers for various programmes and media categories, and the media ratings of the Culture Ministry and the Public Relations Department.


They set a benchmark that there should be no alcohol advertising if 25% or more of the audience of a particular programme or media category were aged below 20 years.


The 25% figure was an international benchmark used in many markets worldwide by alcohol producers.


The liquor industry committee would review the AC Nielsen data every six months to ensure that programmes and media categories remain above this benchmark, the statement said.


For marketing channels where AC Nielsen data was not available, the committee evaluated how underage consumers could be exposed to alcohol advertising and then identified ways to eliminate or reduce this exposure.


For television advertising, the biggest medium, the guidelines suggest no advertising for alcoholic beverages during Thai drama series after 10pm, because the AC Nielsen Media Index reports that more than 25% of the viewers of these series are underage.


It also suggests there would be no alcohol advertising at any time on stations for which more than 25% of listeners are underage consumers.


For the print media, it recommends an end to liquor advertising in entertainment publications, as the rating agency reports that more than 25% of readers in this category are also underage consumers.


Advertisers should send only socially positive messages with no consumer promotions and ensure there is always the legal warning equal to 20% of the ad space as required by law

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