“Comercios con Códigos” ("Responsible Sales")

Key dates

  • Started on 01/11/2012
  • Last updated on 07/09/2015
  • Status: ongoing


  • Argentina

Funding bodies

  • AB INBEV : Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes

Type of initiative

  • Reducing and preventing underage drinking

Description & results

A campaign set up in response to public studies which showed an increase in underage drinking, specifically in underage binge drinking. The studies also revealed that minors themselves go to self-service tills or traditional shops to buy alcoholic beverages, demonstrating a lack of control on who alcohol is sold to.

The campaign  was developed to engage the shops to sell responsibly and increase the awareness of responsible drinking. Building on the law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone under 18 years old, a regulation code of responsible sales was developed. This encourages  stores to:

  • Make it clear that beer is for those at or above the legal drinking age;
  • Ask for ID; and
  • Refuse to sell alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age.

10% of stores were invited to participate in the campaign  and they received campaign materials, and their image was upload to a special Facebook app so that people could find their local store and congratulate them.  Another 10% were designated part of a control group. Mystery shopper research measured all  participating stores and all control stores. All particiating stores which passed the audit received bags and T-Shirts to encourage them to continue to spread the message. The one with most accolades won a trip to Cataratas del Iguazú.

The external audit visited all 483 participating stores and all 485 control stores. This showed that participating stores were 2.8 times more likely to comply with the Code than the control group. 38% of them take necessary measures in order not to sell alcohol to minors while only 14% of the control group respect the steps of the Code. Self-service sales is less likely to comply than traditional sales.


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