Mars Inc. launched the Mars Marketing Code in 2007, a global commitment not to market to children under 12 for all Mars food products (chocolate, confectionery, ice cream, gum and main meal products). Mars does not use nutrition criteria to guide its marketing across media channels. This Code was updated for the third time in 2014, and in doing so Mars Inc. has strengthened its commitment to responsible marketing practices. Mars Inc. will:
- Not undertake joint promotions with alcohol and tobacco products;
- Not enter partnerships between M&M’s and Disney;
- Audit its compliance with the Code both internally and externally, and publish the results of the audit externally. Mars also encourages the wider industry to follow this commitment through trade association discussions, promoting self-regulation as a viable alternative to regulation for marketing and advertising restrictions.
In 2016, Mars committed to strengthen the Governance of its Marketing Code, develop responsible cross-promotions in partnership with its sales community and strengthen its Character guidelines. The deployment of all three commitments was launched in 2016 and will continue in 2017. Mars new commitments brought the following results:
– 99% TV advertising compliance with 25% audience threshold measure (Starcom data, Ireland, UK, Spain, China, New Zealand, Russia);
– Over 4,000 Mars Marketing Code (MMC) driving licenses were awarded;
– Over 3,000 Mars associates completed eLearning courses;
– 7 additional languages for “sales” MMC;
– 97.8% TV advertising compliance with 25% audience threshold of the EU Pledge (Accenture);
– 100% of company owned websites compliant with the EU Pledge (EASA).