TikTok, Alcohol, Advertising and You

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Here at Double Forte, we’re old enough to remember Snap. Or should we say young enough? Yes, we know the social platform is still relevant and the kids are still there. We can also recall the many iterations of alcohol advertising policies the social site has gone through due to its younger demographic. That’s why we’re confident we, as an agency and an industry, will be able to navigate the kids’ current favorite social app: TikTok.

As Dave Infante writes on VinePair, “There are no alcohol ads on TikTok. Why? There’s alcohol on TikTok; there’s advertising on TikTok; the platform’s cryptic algorithm serves its enormous audience content with surgical accuracy. So wherefore art thou, slick booze brand collateral?”

The current issue with TikTok, is the same issue with Snap and even with Instagram at one point. If the core demographic skews toward kids, alcohol brands don’t want to be there – at least until it’s safe to do so. You may remember when, in 2018, Diageo pulled it ads from Snap because they were seen by kids and teenagers. Then in 2019, Facebook and its sister site Instagram, restricted sales and limited alcohol-related content.

As Infante says, “Alcohol ads aren’t on TikTok because TikTok doesn’t want them there. Or it wants them, but it can’t have them, because a big chunk of its users are teenagers. Which, of course, is why major alcohol producers don’t want to be there. Or they do, but they can’t, because of the teenagers. Basically, they won’t, until they can, at which point, buddy, you’d better believe they will.”

TikTok is where many brands want to be right now, and rightly so. Still, it’s unclear the safest way to move forward. It’s still early days, despite the rapid growth of the app. Rest assured, here at Double Forte, we will be monitoring the situation (Why yes, I do get paid for looking at my iPhone and dancing to Something New!) and providing counsel on the path forward. Watch this space.