Self-Regulation

As good corporate citizens, we believe that well-constructed self-regulatory codes can be more effective and credible than government regulation and legislation.

Self-regulatory codes allow for speedy resolution of issues without compromising legitimate advertising and promotional needs.
Our participation in such organizations as DISCUS in the U.S. and CEPS in Europe commits us to adhere to industry codes on the responsible marketing and promotion of our products; to place moderation statements on our consumer advertising; and on our labels to remind consumers to enjoy our brands responsibly.

Our approach is to self-regulation through the Bacardi Global Marketing Principles, which establish the minimum standards that must be met when marketing our brands in the markets that distribute our products. Around the world, nominated approvers are trained in how to apply the Global Marketing Principles and sign off marketing materials in their markets. These approvers are external affairs managers, in legal departments, or General Managers. They are always non-marketing staff. This approach is designed to ensure that we are complying with government and industry regulations.

Training in the Global Marketing Principles is conducted through the Bacardi Marketing Way training course for those people who have been in the business for a minimum of two years. We have also developed an e-learning module which everyone in the business, especially those in marketing functions, are encouraged to make use of.

We are founding members of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a national trade association comprised of producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S. We have adopted and actively participated in the development of the group’s voluntary code of advertising practices, the DISCUS Code of Responsible Marketing Practices, including the latest version dated January 2009. The new Code has been expanded to apply to video games, music videos, sponsorships, and product placements.

We played an active role within DISCUS to update its guidelines relating to social networking sites and digital communications and we worked closely with our colleagues in the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) to achieve alignment.

In Europe, we play an active role in many national trade associations which are members of CEPS, the European Spirits Organisation. CEPS has a long-standing commitment to responsibility. In fiscal 2011, CEPS stepped up its engagement on combating alcohol misuse by adopting the European Roadmap for Responsible Consumption. The Roadmap to 2015 outlines concrete commitments in the area of self-regulation of commercial communications, consumer education, and stakeholder engagement. It also builds on the success of the previous roadmap which was recognized as a model of excellence in promoting responsible drinking initiatives.

In relation to commercial communications and self-regulation, the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) adopted guidelines on responsible digital marketing in fiscal 2011 to keep pace with this fast-growing area of marketing and we played an active role in this work.