Commercial Communications

Training programs

Training also seems to be a key area on which companies and associations have been working beyond the 7 Operational Standards, to ensure not just that brewing company employees know the rules but also that they are understood by agencies, by SROs and also by other interested parties. Repeating this training is useful to refresh memories but also in particular in view of personnel turnover and changes made to codes, introducing new provisions.


The Finnish Brewers organise an annual training event for member companies’ marketing and communications personnel to reinforce responsible marketing communications. Annual training is part of the self-regulatory guidelines, with the 2015 training being held on 21st August.


Since 2013, lectures on good marketing practices and especially the interpretation of the Danish Code of Practice for Alcoholic Beverages for companies, consumer organisations, higher learning institutions, marketing networks and other interested parties have been organised by the Alcohol Advertising Board “where Bryggeriforeningen sits”. The lectures are free and the idea is to give all interested parties a chance to receive further information on the interpretation and actual use of the Code.


Brewers of Romania also filed a Forum commitment whereby, together with the self-regulatory organisation (RAC), workshops are run for brewers and agencies: to clarify all the aspects regarding the spirit and the letter of the Brewers of Romania’s Commercial Code of Communication; to present how the Ethical Committees judge beer advertising, and; to reiterate the advantages of the copy advice service provided by RAC. All with the aim that brewers be made aware of and respect the rules and scope of the Code, whilst those responsible for beer advertising use the copy advice service before broadcasting a commercial communication.


In Spain, to keep awareness of the importance of the Self-regulation Code, during 2013 Cerveceros de España conducted two seminars, attended by 77 people, with communications and advertising agencies, plus legal and marketing departments, as participants.


In 2013 AB InBev committed to strive to train 80% of sales, marketing and Corporate Affairs people at Western Europe Zone level, whilst for 2014 the target was 95%. For the training there are 2 possibilities: live and email (or E-learning) trainings. In 2013 in Belgium, out of the 144 relevant people, 104 were trained. In the Netherlands this training also included the code of STIVA, the social aspects organisation supported by brewers and other sectors. In Ireland training for its marketing and consumer facing employees takes place regularly, with additional measures being the self-regulatory code restricting sampling to a limit of one pint, whilst responsible event sponsorship implies a limit of two pints for all purchases, the use of plastic glasses and mandatory ID for purchases.


At SAB Miller, the company’s Policy on Commercial Communication rules that all its companies must have an internal Sales and Marketing Compliance Committee charged with ensuring that all commercial communications comply with the Code. They must provide internal and external marketing and sales personnel with a copy of the Code and oversee and ensure implementation of annual training related to the Code.


Finally, the marketing team of Alken Maes in Belgium attends training sessions run by the JEP (Jury voor Ethische Praktijkeninzakereclame), the self-regulatory body for the advertising industry. These help to familiarise employees with the rules set out in the “Covenant on practice and advertising for alcohol beverages” and the way the JEP operates. All colleagues within a marketing related function, except sales, were required to pass the e-learning on the company’s ‘Responsible Marketing Code’ before December 2015. After the e-learning, small training sessions are organised.

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