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Aristotle Supports FTC Recommendations Targeting Marketing of Alcohol to Minors

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aristotle, a company that provides online and in-person age verification to social networks, alcohol companies and others required to verify age, would like to applaud the FTC for its most recent recommendations to alcohol marketers.

"This is the second time in two years that the FTC has voted unanimously in support of the adoption of technology pioneered by Aristotle that facilitates compliance by marketers of age-restricted products or those who must obtain parental consent prior to collecting information from a child," said Aristotle CEO John Aristotle Phillips.

Aristotle has developed and implemented a robust age and identity verification solution for marketers using Twitter who wish to avoid stiff legal penalties or brand damage for underage marketing. The app serves as a front end for Aristotle's age verification service so the marketer can quickly age verify users who want to follow them on Twitter.

The distinction between bogus 'age affirmation' that does not verify age and real age verification has alarmed some, including attorneys generals in some states, who have expressed concern about marketing of alcohol, tobacco and newly-legalized marijuana to youngsters who skate past weak or phony age affirmation screens that do not truly verify age. This helps explain why the FTC has now stated that it should be a "best practice to engage in third-party age verification of consumers who have registered to receive further communications with a company" that markets or sells an age restricted product.

Phillips welcomed the careful balance of privacy and child protection devoted to the subject of collection of personal information by alcohol marketing websites and social networks by the Commissioners. "They got a lot of comments from advocates of privacy, child protection, and the beverage marketers and took it all into consideration," he said.

"The Commission stated that for social networking sites, or beer, wine and spirits websites collecting information (such as an email) from consumers "...it is appropriate, and a best practice, to engage in third-party age verification of consumers who have registered to receive further communications with a company."

Phillips added, "If you're collecting and storing the information provided by consumers, for any purpose that includes direct communications back to that consumer, then you need to be actually verifying the age of those consumers in your databases."

Aristotle's Integrity™ unit has provided age and identity verification services to government agencies such as state lotteries, and beverage alcohol, tobacco, social network and gaming sites, in order to help responsible marketers 'scrub' the databases of minors who might otherwise skate past a bogus or non-functioning age 'gate', favored by some in the industry.

As with the Commission's prior vote designating Aristotle as a Safe Harbor for companies with respect to compliance with the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the designation of third-party age verification of consumers as a 'best practice' by the Commission should give clarity to companies in the beverage alcohol industry who have pledged to adhere to self-regulatory codes of conduct regarding advertising that includes 'best practices'.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with our industry partners to ensure that their websites and online services, which contain areas intended for adults, are permitted to host adult discussions on topics of interest to adults, without concern that there might be a child present." Phillips added.

About Aristotle

For more than 25 years, every occupant of the White House — Democrat and Republican — has used Aristotle products and/or services, in addition to many U.S. Senators, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Democratic and Republican state party organizations.

About Integrity

Integrity is a proven, accepted, versatile and cost-effective global ID and age verification solution. In addition to I-gaming, major deployments include customers in tobacco, alcohol, government agencies, major motion picture studios, video gaming, financial services, events management, media and advertising, and consumer goods industries. More than 50 million consumers have utilized Integrity to verify their identity when transacting with global Fortune 1000 companies around the world.

CONTACT: Brandi Travis (202) 903-4221

Source:Aristotle, Inc.