Advertising to children

The EU Pledge

42% less TV ads seen by children under 12 for all products marketed by 21 leading companies

The EU Pledge is a commitment by 21 leading food and beverage brand owners, who represent over 80% of food advertising spend in the EU, to change the way they market their products to children. They have committed not to advertise their products to children under 12, unless they meet robust common nutrition criteria. In addition, signatories have committed to carry out independent annual, third-party compliance monitoring of the EU Pledge. The 2014 report demonstrates that for the 6th consecutive year children in the EU under 12 are exposed to less advertising:

  • They are exposed to 88% less advertisements for products not meeting the nutrition criteria around children’s programmes;
  • 52% less for products not meeting the criteria across all TV programming;
  • Irrespective of the nutrition criteria, children see 42% less TV ads for all products marketed by these 21 companies compared to 2005.


On 24 November 2014, a set of enhanced EU Pledge commitments were announced, applicable as of the end of 2016, and they entail:

  • Extension of scope- signatories will in addition to TV, print, third-party internet and company-owned websites also apply this commitment to radio, cinema, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, mobile and SMS marketing;
  • Addressing the content of marketing communications- The new policy will ensure that where no reliable audience measurement data is available, advertisers consider the overall impression of the marketing communication.