Unilever to stop marketing food and beverages to children

FMCG giant Unilever has announced that it will stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children by the end of this year, in an effort to help combat rising childhood obesity.

The self-imposed advertising restrictions will mean that kids below 12 years old in traditional media and below 13 years old in social media will not be targeted through its campaigns.

It will also limit using cartoon characters which will only be used for products with a specific nutritional profile.

Unilever said in a statement that the move will help parents, caregivers and kids “make informed choices” when they are shopping for foods and drinks.

“The new marketing and advertising plan will also address the rise of social media and the vast increase in products on sale. We’re implementing strict controls concerning the placement and content of our ads, and we won’t use any influencers, celebrities or social media stars who primarily appeal to children under the age of 12,” Unilever said.

Ice cream brand Wall’s will lead the intiative by shifting advertising speak to parents and caregivers and becoming the first global ice cream brand with a ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ promise, based on three pillars: Responsibly Communicated, Responsibly Sold and Responsibly Developed.

Wall’s kids’ ice creams will feature a ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ logo on product packs and price cards. By the end of 2020, every ice cream in the kids’ range will contain no ore than 110 calories and a maximum of 12g of sugar per portion.

“We at Wall’s believe that everyone deserves a little joyous treat from time to time and we strive to offer something for everyone. Our promise is a genuine commitment to make and market products to children responsibly. It is the promise of better ice cream and healthier, happier children. Both now and in the future,” said Matt Close, Unilever executive vice president, global ice cream category.

The deadline for compliance with the new principles is the end of 2020.

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