Regulating Platform's Algorithmic Brand Culture: The Instructive Case of Alcohol Marketers on Social Media

Nicholas Carah*, Sven Brodmerkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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This chapter offers an account of how alcohol marketers have used social media platforms over the past fifteen years, and argues that understanding the engineering, operation and consequences of platforms’ data-driven, participatory and opaque advertising model is fundamental to addressing larger questions of platform regulation in the public interest. It suggests that through the case of alcohol marketing we can understand and assess many of the novel regulatory challenges posed by the advertising model of digital platform companies. Thus, in this chapter we appraise some of the existing alcohol industry and platform approaches to self-regulation and suggest some principles for regulating marketing that is data-driven, participatory and opaque, and connect these to larger debates about the future regulation of platforms. The critical assessment of the novel ways in which platform marketing integrates participatory forms of audience engagement with the prospecting, segmentation and targeting of consumers is crucial for developing an accountable regulatory regime that allows for effective governance of the commercial activities of marketers and brands on platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Platform Regulation: Global Perspectives on Internet Governance
EditorsTerry Flew, Fiona R. Martin
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-95220-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-95219-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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