We strongly believe that SABMiller should be a force for good, both globally and in the communities in which we operate. An integral part of this is to market our products in a responsible way
Our marketing seeks to promote our brands to consumers. It does not promote the consumption of alcohol by people who would not otherwise drink. Information about the attributes and availability of our brands should be communicated to adults because it helps them to make educated choices about what they want to drink and when.
Alcohol advertising is one of the most regulated forms of advertising in the world. In addition to local laws, we have voluntary sales and marketing standards that all of our businesses around the world must follow. These standards are contained in our Policy on Commercial Communication.
The policy sets out content and placement standards for commercial communications, including advertising, promotions, online and other marketing activities.
The Policy on Commercial Communication has comprehensive requirements such as:
- not directing marketing to those under the legal drinking age;
- not having models under the age of 25 in any commercial communication;
- maintaining equivalent standards for our digital communications as those for our traditional media communications;
- enforcing our standards though self-regulatory systems either internally or through external mechanisms; and
- creating an accessible complaints mechanism.
It also requires each of our subsidiary businesses to regulate their own performance against these standards and establish an internal compliance committee.
These committees are usually called the Sales and Marketing Compliance Committee, or a local language version of that name. They are responsible for overseeing compliance with the standards, establishing training programmes to ensure that staff are aware of the standards and are capable of meeting them, monitoring communication activities and reporting to the board on performance.
The SMCC represents a unique asset to guide SABMiller companies on how to engage properly with their consumers and have a positive impact in society through commercial communication activities. Therefore, it is necessary that colleagues are made to see and understand the connections between the work of the SMCC, brand building and profitability. The training definitely emphasised the importance of this institution to the sustainability of the business.
Dr. Kobby Mensah, Accra Brewery Ltd SMCC Chair
We choose to impose these standards on ourselves in order to strike a balance between the need for societies to have responsible alcohol advertising, our right to advertise our products, and the rights of adults to have accurate product information.
In addition to our own Sales and Marketing Compliance Committees, SABMiller Group companies participate in industry and national self-regulation mechanisms. Many of these internal and external mechanisms include non-industry participation to assess and regulate marketing activities, making them more independent and robust.