Promoting the highest industry standards on responsible marketing

We recognise the role parents play in helping their children eat and drink healthily. So, for any marketing directed at children, we will not undermine parental influence, encourage ‘pester power’, or use time or price minimisation pressure.

We are careful not to exploit a child’s imagination or inexperience, or blur the boundary between content and commercial promotion. We voluntarily restrict all marketing communications to children under six, as we know they are unable to distinguish between marketing and programming. And we restrict marketing and advertising to children under 12 for all products except those that meet: our Highest Nutritional Standards (HNS); or any common industry criteria we are committed to, such as in the EU; or any criteria set by public authorities. Where differences exist, we apply the strictest criteria.

Our restrictions apply to all forms of marketing and advertising to children, including packaging and labelling, TV and radio advertising, consumer promotions, in-store activities, PR materials, online activity (including both company-owned and third-party websites), social media and digital advertising, apps, online games and direct marketing. They also apply to all other forms of communication (like cartoon characters, product placements, advergaming, free gifts/toys and so on).

To determine if ‘marketing communications’ are ‘directed to children’, we will take into account the placement (e.g. media audiences where 35% or more of the audience is under the age of 12) and the content of those communications. We don’t promote brands or products in primary schools. Only products meeting our HNS can use cartoon characters and celebrities, or participate in educational campaigns with specific agreement from school administrations.

Our objective for 2018 is to continue promoting the highest industry standards and inspire collective action on responsible marketing. To do this, we will support and strengthen national and regional pledges with industry partners and ensure high levels of compliance and understanding of our strengthened Global Principles.