NEWS22 September 2014

Code of marketing to children enhanced

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GLOBAL — CEOs of the world’s leading food and beverage companies have committed to an enhanced global code of marketing to children.

Eleven of the world’s top food and beverage brands, including Coca Cola and McDonald’s, have unveiled enhanced global committments to marketing to children.

Based on recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as national governments and other organisations designed to improve global health, the International Food and Beverage Aliiance (IFBA) has outlined an expansion of its global marketing policy, which has been in place since 2009. The original policy specified that IFBA members would only advertise products that met ‘better-for-you’ criteria or refrain from all product marketing to children under 12. This policy covered TV, print, schools, the internet and company-owned websites.

The enhanced version strengthens the policy in three areas:

  • An expansion of media coverage, including radio cinema, direct marketing, mobile and SMS marketing, interactive games, DVD/CD-ROM and product placement
  • The use of certain marketing techniques, such as licensed characters, movie tie-ins and celebrities that appeal to children under 12, in marketing communications primarily directed to children under 12, are only for products meeting the ‘better-for-you’ criteria
  • Members have now committed to working towards common standards of the ‘better-for-you’ definition

The new standards will come into force at the end of 2016 and will constitute the minimum global criteria for all IFBA companies. The other members of the IFBA are Ferrero, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo & Unilever.

Further details of the enhanced code, as well as other strategy updates, can be found here.