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Twitter Launches Age-Proofing System for Booze Brands

  |  July 12, 2012   |  Comments

UPDATE: Jack Daniel's, Skinny Girl and Coors Light are using the system.

UPDATE:Twitter does not appear to have access to age data as suggested in the original article. Although the privacy terms displayed in the @absolutvodka_us age verifiation form suggest otherwise, a Twitter spokesperson told ClickZ the privacy policy terms "are Buddy's [Buddy Media] terms and we have no plans to use this information at the current time." Another twist: It appears different brands are taking a different approach to verification. While Absolut's went to a Twitter landing page, the @JackHoney process leads the user to a page hosted on brown-forman.com, the site of Jack Daniel's parent company Brown-Forman.


Original Story

Twitter has developed a system for obtaining ages of followers, a particularly significant concern for alcohol brands. Until now many booze brands have simply included a note on their account profile stating that followers must be of legal drinking age, and to "Drink responsibly."

According to Twitter, the firm has worked with social media management firm Buddy Media to come up with a more robust answer to the age-proofing question. Brands including Jack Daniels' @JackHoney, Jim Beam's Skinny Girl - @SkinnygirlCKTLS - and MillerCoors' Coors Light and Miller Lite - @CoorsLite and @MillerLite - have tested the system in the past month.


The feature works in a similar way to the standard website age verification systems used for liquor brand websites, but incorporates a Twitter-centric element. When a user clicks to follow a brand, he automatically receives a direct message asking him to affirm his age. Of course, as is the case with age verification systems for sites, there's no way of telling whether the user is actually the age he says he is.


The direct message links to a form on the brand's Twitter page that requires the user to submit his date of birth and agree to Twitter's privacy terms.

That's where it gets interesting from a data standpoint. The privacy terms state, "We may also share aggregate or anonymous age data with third parties for marketing purposes in accordance with our [Twitter's] privacy policy. For example, we may identify the number of users within an age range that follow a specific account or types of accounts. By submitting your age information you agree to the sharing of your information as described above."

If a large enough pool of people contribute age data by following alcohol brands or other brands looking for proof of age, Twitter can be expected to enable ad targeting based on age.

The feature is now available for free to all marketers. They can register at age.twitter.com to submit their brands for approval.


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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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