South African alcohol brands and other companies that sell age-restricted products can currently sign up for an age verification service with Twitter that will help them keep minors from following their Twitter accounts.
The Twitter age-screening system is based on a solution from Salesforce Buddy Media, a social media solutions firm owned by Salesforce.com. It sends direct messages to users that follow an age-restricted Twitter account, pointing them to a Web page where they are required to submit their date of birth. Those that admit they are too young will not be allowed to follow the account.
International brands such as Coors Light and Jack Daniels Honey are already using the solution.
“Alcohol brands and other companies with age-restricted content or products are required by law in most countries to show that they do not actively promote to minors,” says Gordon Geldenhuys, head of online reputation management at Acceleration Media, a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Authorised Reseller.
“With this offering from Twitter, they can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to shield young users from their offerings. It is a simple matter for responsible adult brands such as casinos and alcohol producers and retailers to sign up for this free age verification process.”
Geldenhuys adds: “It is a great way for such companies to be proactive before regulators start scrutinising how they use social media to promote their products. It is also good for their brands and reputations to show that they are mindful of their social responsibilities when it comes to advertising to underage consumers.”