Saturday, November 20, 2010

Websites that asks for your birthday and country

Here's something that annoys me.

Don't You just hate the fact, that it's quite common these days, that you have to enter details about your country of origin and your birthday details whenever you have to enter the website of a company making whisky or the website of a distillery?

I sincerely thinking this is treating the customers like they are idiots. I also believe that the companies doing this is enforced so to by their lawyers.

Typical welcome screen from a distillery

Now whats happening here?? Anyone above the age of 9 (and I am possible offending most kids age 5-8 right now!!) is able to enter some more or less random numbers that will make you appear 18+ or 21+ or whatever is needed, depending on what country you are from.

So the only effects this page has, is 
1. It annoys the majority of us thats old enough to drink, as we have to spend time entering these details whenever we enter sites. 
2. Anyone not supposed to enter, might get some satisfaction beating the "authorities" or a laugh how stupid  this is. I doubt a lot of youngsters are interested in malt whisky anyway

So these filters won't stop anyone not at legal age to gain access to your website. I don't think it has stopped even one teenager from breaking into their parents spirit cabinet and drinking their brains out...

So instead of treating customers like they are idiots, I think these companies should start doing things that has an effect or is more meaningful.

Support responsible drinking by
- Small banners with or similar seems sensible to me.
- Spittoons at festivals.
- At distillery visits the driver should get a sample offered as alternative, or just a wee container they can pour the dram in and take with them for later.

One great thing I have seen is what Diageo do at the Spirit of Speyside whiskyfestival. They sponsor minibusses and taxivouchers. A festival like this has some problems of logistics, and these sponsorwhips actually makes it quite cheap to get around, even over longer distances, so personally it's something I really appreciate. This actually does make it possible to get to most events quite easy without a designated driver.

So put the money where it matters, treat people like grown ups, and stop annoying me with those stupid formulars


  1. I totally agree with you.

    Laws try to restrict the access of youngsters to alcoholic beverages.
    Advertisement for alcoholic beverages is seen as encouragement for drinking.
    Whisky websites are treated as advertisement (and therefore encouragement), so they should implement mechanisms to restrict access (same goes for porn sites).

    The mechanism they choose is just ridiculous - as you say.

    I don't think there is an effective access restriction for websites based on age - so just leave the vast majority of potential customers alone and stop annoying us and offending the kids with the stupidity of this.

    Thank you for bringing this up.

  2. I hate the ones that don't allow you to save the details so you don't have to do it every time you visit. Also, I just put in any date at all for them - anything to gain access quickly.

  3. Couldn't agree more!

    Don't understand myself why these whisky companies make it so difficult to the customer to enter their web site. Most people want to know the opening times of their visitor centres anyway and not indulge in drinking (lots of) whisky. That's why we post the opening times of distilleries on our web site which you can visit without entering your date of birth etc.

    It's a total over reaction on industry best practice and ridiculous. Glad you posted this, will link to it from my own website and

    By the way, will link to your blog too, like it! ;)

    Hope to see you at the festival, would be good to catch up over a Speyside Whisky! ;)