Kellogg, Nestlé, Mondelēz et al. promise to stop certain kids' ads by 2018

Companies promise to stop targeted advertising to children under 12 for products that do not fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines by 2018

Over 20 major food firms have signed up to health and wellness pledges on advertisement to children, consistent product information, open access to formulation policies and employee wellbeing as part of their commitment to Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) targets.

A host of manufacturers - 25 in total - including Kellogg, Nestlé, Mondelēz International, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Co and Unilever committed to the pledges, while 25 retailers including Carrefour, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer were also in check at the forum's event this week in Paris. 

The firms promised to:

  • Stop targeted advertising to children under 12 for products that do not fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines by 2018;
  • Industry-wide implementation of consistent product labelling and consumer information to help consumers make informed choices and usages by 2018;
  • Make company policies public on nutrition and product formulation by 2016;
  • Implement employee health and wellness programmes by 2016.

Nestlé CEO: Industry needs to 'scale up' efforts

Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer (CEO) for Nestlé which co-sponsored the forum’s health and wellness pillar, said the industry had to “scale up” its efforts. “The consumer goods industry acknowledges its role in the health and wellness of society, the issues around it, and the imperative need for actions,” he said.

“We have to accelerate existing initiatives. We have to engage in multi-stakeholder dialogues and efforts. We believe that The Forum will contribute to a positive impact in this area.”

Manufacturers signed up: Nestlé, Barilla, Bongrain, Kellogg, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Kirin, Campbell Soup, PepsiCo, Kao, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever,

General Mills, Danone, Mondelēz International, Bimbo, McCain Foods, Heineken, Colgate Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, Ajinomoto, SC Johnson, Henkel, Smucker, L’Oreal.

Advertising to children

Commenting on the promise to stop targeted advertising of products “that do not fulfil specific nutrition criteria” to children under the age of 12, the forum’s communication manager Lee Green told FoodNavigator this would be based on criteria endorsed by the World Federation of Advertisers. He said pledges would be applied locally with respect for local legislation, and in the case of Europe, the pledge was in line with already agreed targets

Two of the companies – Kellogg and Coca-Cola – were met with criticism recently, after a UK documentary accused them and others of guileful advertising to children through so called 'advergames' and social media engagement. All parties denied the accusations. 

Asked if the pledges would cover this online marketing 'grey zone', Green said: The CGF will build its actions upon the criteria set on this issue in many places e.g. EU platform and also other regions.”

Making policies public 

Green said the companies had pledged to improve access and availability of information on “formulation of new products and services, as well as re-formulation towards less sugar and/or saturated fat and/or salt”.

He said this might be communicated through mainstream financial reports, CEO statements or voluntary communications like corporate social responsibility reports and websites.

On labelling, Green said “this may be GDA-based [Guideline Daily Amounts] or a nutrition profile or logo-based system. CGF companies have to comply with legislation wherever they have operations and also local guidelines. Legislations being local, companies have to apply the required local solutions".

On employee health and wellness, he said this included things like providing workers smoke-free environments. He said the forum’s members employ an around ten million people and a further 90 million people along the value chain.

Related News

Marketing to children: Brand knowledge and BMI relationship ‘quite robust’

Marketing to children: Brand knowledge and BMI relationship ‘quite robust’

Unhealthy foods are heavily promoted in kids TV programming, according to the new research.

Children’s TV promotes bad diets, says study

Ex Mars Chocolate North America president becomes Mars Incorporated chief health and wellbeing officer

Health ‘a strategic priority’ says Mars as it creates specialized health chief role

ESA director general talks corporate responsibility to public health: “Everybody is a consumer – people working on the factory floor are consumers.”

EU pledge: Amica Chips and ICA Foods to stop ads to kids

"If a food or beverage product meets all the criteria of the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System (60/40+), then it attains the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation status – meaning we consider it an appropriate choice for consumers as part of a balanced diet," said Hilary Green, head of R&D Communications at Nestlé.

Nestlé wants all of its children’s range to meet the ‘60/40+’ criteria by the end of 2014

The companies said they would detail reformulation goals by the end of the year

World’s biggest food companies to tighten marketing rules

Mascot bears hand out samples in nightclubs to appeal to an older audience, says Cocktail Candy makers Candy Pack

Cocktail Candy: We're not marketing to kids

'We are responding to consumer demand for gluten-free versions of their favorite products,' says CPW nutrition manager

Nestlé gluten-free cornflakes hit Europe

CAP has said it will further explore how children understand commercial intent online

CAP urges clear labelling of online advergames

Confectionery does not meet thresholds in WHO's Nutrient Profile model to be marketed to kids

Confectionery marketing to kids taboo under WHO’s European Region Nutrient Profile model

Food firms reject Dispatches documentary accusations that they are using online games and social media to target children.

What are you playing at? Kellogg, Coca-Cola and Cloetta accused of ‘sneaky’ advertising to kids

Is industry self-regulation a failure?

Self-regulation of food advertising to children is failing across Europe, says IASO

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.