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Social media

Paragraph 1 – Additional effect

In addition to that which has been determined in the Dutch Advertising Code, the special   Advertising code for Social Media & Influencer Marketing (RSM) and in the Media law (Dutch: Mediawet), the rules of this Article apply for active internet marketing.

Paragraph 2 – Age mentioning in screen advertising through the internet

In advertising messages from the advertiser which

i) consist in whole or partly of (any moving) images and

ii) which are intended for distribution through the internet, whether or not by the advertiser,

the image should, in a clearly visible and readable way, mention the logo ‘NIX18’ such as stated in Article 32, paragraph 2. An exception to this, for influencers, with regard to its display, is stated in Article 32, paragraph 5.

Paragraph 3 – Messages on an internet platform under control of the advertiser & influencer marketing

a)         Advertising messages posted on an internet platform over which the advertiser has some degree of control and/or that are distributed by a third person with whom the advertiser has a relevant relationship in the sense if the Advertising code Social Media & Influencer Marketing (RSM), should comply with the Dutch Advertising Code and the RSM, irrespective of who posts the advertising message. When a complaint is acknowledged, the Advertising Code Committee and, on appeal, the Board of Appeal can designate the party to which

non-compliance with this Code is attributable.

b)         The advertiser and distributor are both responsible for compliance with the RSM, whereby the advertiser has an active best-effort obligation. In addition, the advertiser has the duty of care stated in Article 6 of the RSM.

c)        For advertising placed on an internet platform over which the advertiser has some degree of control and/or which is distributed by a third person with whom the advertiser has a relevant relationship in the sense of the Advertising code Social Media & Influencer Marketing (RSM), one should use an 18+ age filter when available on the designated platform. This requirement applies to both organic content and to advertisements. Platforms with an age filter are at least YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly called Twitter).

d)         If third-party content (e.g. comments, likes, etc) is placed on the aforementioned internet platform, where no age filter is available, then:

i)  the advertiser – in addition to the obligations under paragraph 3 sub a – should also have ensured that the person who wishes to post the comments is at least 18 years old, or

ii) this person must have declared that he or she is at least 18 years old.

e )        In case a declaration such as mentioned under paragraph 3d under ii) and/or in case of any reasonable doubt whether the person is at least 18 years old, the advertiser shall see to it that this person cannot post any reactions.

In case there is no selection or admission control possible for a certain internet platform, the advertiser should mention on a clearly visible and easily readable spot that the content of and posting on that internet platform is exclusively intended for persons of 18 years and older.

Paragraph 4 – Messages distributed by the advertiser

In case of active internet marketing, where the receiving party can be selected such as with, but not limited to, advertising messages through email or advertising on the basis of digital profiles that are linked to a cookie, the following should be adhered to:

a minimum age of 18 years must be used as effective selection criterion, or another suchlike selection criterion from which this minimum age follows.

Paragraph 5 – responding to social media accounts of third parties

Before making advertising comprised of placing or responding to a communication on a social media account other than that of the advertiser, the advertiser must have ascertained that the owner of that social media account is at least 18 years old. If this has not proven to be the case or if it is impossible to check his or her age, placing a comment or message by the advertiser is prohibited.

Paragraph 6– Distributors (including influencers)

Advertising that consists of the distribution of advertisements for alcoholic beverages by a natural or legal person (Distributor) who has a relevant relationship with an advertiser in the context of distributing that advertisement must comply with all articles of the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages.

Distributors who have a relevant relationship with an advertiser should be at least 25 years old and should also look 25 years old.

Advertising made through distributors must include the hashtag #Ad, #advertisement or other statement in accordance with the Explanation of Article 3 of the RSM.  

Paragraph 7 – TikTok

It is not permitted to advertise alcoholic beverages on the TikTok platform. The advertiser is also not permitted to distribute advertising or have advertisements distributed for alcoholic beverages on TikTok by a Distributor who has a relevant relationship with the advertiser (see Article 23, paragraph 6, with the obligation to comply with, among other, the RvA and thus the prohibition of advertising aimed at minors).

Paragraph 8 – opt out option

Advertisers must cooperate with social media platforms’ ability to work with an ‘opt-out’ option. This opt-out option means that adults, who, for whatever reason, do not want to receive alcohol advertising through their social media accounts, can indicate this and will therefore no longer receive content from advertisers.

Explanation of Article 23 Social media

The “liking” by the advertiser on any post, status, photograph or other communication by third parties or “reposting” is prohibited, unless the advertiser can demonstrate that the owner of the relevant social media account is at least 18 years old. This is for example the case if it concerns an official account of a company or a well-known natural person. If a natural person is involved who is not well-known, the advertiser must, prior to posting the message or comment, have made it reasonably plausible that it concerns a person who is 18 years or older via the information on his/her profile page.

Please note: the rules based on legislation and regulations within the context of privacy and the protection of personal data (as currently laid down in the Personal Data Protection Act, the Telecommunications Act and the Distribution of Advertising by e-mail Code), apply as well, including the consent requirement, drawing attention to and providing the option of unsubscribing, and the information obligations, to the extent applicable.

Explanation of paragraph 7:
As soon as TikTok will have an age filter that functions well by general standards, the prohibition on advertising on TikTok under Article 23, paragraph 7, will lapse.

Guidelines to Article 23 – Social media

All rules of the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages (RvA) and the rules from the Advertising code Social Media & Influencer Marketing (RSM) apply to advertising messages in the form of internet marketing, and also to the content of third parties.

For advertising messages in the form of active internet marketing, the extra requirements of paragraph 2 through 5 are applicable.

Several platforms use different methods to ensure that content does not end up with people under 18. Make sure that you are aware of the possibilities per platform and apply them. If an age filter is available on a certain internet platform, then it must also be used as stated in Article 23, paragraph 3c. If a platform introduces a filter, this filter must be applied as soon as possible.

For example, Facebook, Instagram (owned by Meta), Snapchat and Youtube (Google) have signed a pledge that has ensured that since 2020, content from alcohol brands does not reach minors through their platforms. Make sure that you are and remain aware of this in the right way, and also in case of any future technical developments. Because of this, the compliance with paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 has become a lot easier for you.

Other platforms such as X already offer the possibility to work with an age check. Make sure to apply this, at least with new followers.

Other social media platforms

If the social platform does not offer the possibility yet to exclude persons younger than 18 years old by means of an age-check or similar age check or age filter, it is sufficient to mention in the bio of the platform, in a clearly visible and readable way, that the content is only intended for persons of 18 years and older. This does not apply to the TikTok platform. It is categorically not allowed to advertise alcohol on TikTok (see paragraphs 6 and 7). These are TikTok’s own rules, which also have to do with the fact that TikTok cannot (properly) filter for 18+ profiles and has a user population that is generally still partially underage.