McDonald’s and Pepsico sign up deal to market responsibly
With junk food and soft drinks said to have spoiled the health of an entire generation, McDonald’s, Pepsico and Coca-Cola have signed a deal to market their products responsibly to children under 12.
Even though the companies have joined the campaign, other food campaigners are not convinced and say that the companies could do better. The International Food & Beverage Alliance has other members in this initiative including Nestle, Mars, Kellogg, Unilever, Ferrero, Group Bimbo, and General Mills who have written an open letter to the World Health Organization asking it to make measures to stop marketing such unhealthy food to children.
The IFBA will start restricting certain techniques that are found to appeal to children and that will include use of licensed characters, movie tie-ins and celebrities famous among children to market that are considered unhealthy for children. The companies have also decided not to market the products at schools and all such campaigns will be called off by 2016. These restrictions will be placed for food items high in salt, sugar and fat.
The agreement is signed along with World Federation of Advertisers and the pledges were set out as early as 2008 which made the companies commit to stop marketing unhealthy food to children under 12 on TV or in print media. The same companies have now come forward to refrain from advertising to children on radio, cinema, direct marketing, SMS marketing, DVD products and more.
World Federation of Advertisers Managing Director Stephan Loerke said, “The major food and beverage companies have strict controls in place on how they communicate with younger audiences”.
“This latest strengthening of the IFBA global policy demonstrates the extent to which IFBA members are taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to marketing to children”.