Some things just make you ask, “What’s the point?”
A dozen leading alcoholic beverage companies have pledged to print age-restriction labels on their products and to better control access to their online content. The brewers, distillers, and vintners claim they want to address underage drinking.
The move comes from the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), which includes Anheuser-Busch InBev and Diageo. The goal is to have age-restriction symbols or wording in place in all markets by 2024, and on all products, both alcoholic and alcohol-free.
The IARD, which has previously run educational initiatives, said underage drinking was declining in many countries but the trend was not universal. The producers have agreed that online safeguards would go beyond the more usual current practice of asking website visitors to confirm they are a given age.
IARD said it was also looking into extending the ability of adults to opt out of alcohol marketing.
While the IARD might be pursuing a noble goal, the initiative appears to come a bit too late. It’s hard to imagine a teenager, or even a 20-year-old, picking up a bottle of beer at a party and, upon seeing the label warning that the age limit is 21, setting it back down.
A cynic might think the alcohol industry isn’t as concerned with the health or well-being of our youth as they are with trying to get in front of any lawsuits that might arise from under-age drinking.