In May 2013, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau released guidance clarifying that all social media activity by alcohol companies will be considered advertising and these companies need to ensure that their social media pages are viewed primarily by customers or fans who are over 21.
Alcohol Beverage Partner Michael Brill Newman says that this guidance was "a shot across the bow to the industry" because social media advertising has proven to be so important. Mr. Newman, who has counseled clients in the industry on social media issues, also said it is important for these companies to stay ahead of these regulations. One practice he advocates his clients to move towards is "age gating", which requires visitors to enter their date of birth before being admitted to the site.
"It's a good idea to have it," Mr. Newman said, "because if you don't have it, you might invite more scrutiny."
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