New measures tighten rules around advertising to children

Image reproduced from parent with thanks

The International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) has today announced four enhanced commitments on health and wellness, one of which focuses on responsible marketing and advertising to children.

The Alliance, which comprises some of the world's largest food and beverage companies including Nestlé, Kellogg's, McDonald's, Mars, Unilever and Pepsico, is extending its current policy to ensure that marketing communications for products that do not meet nutrition criteria are not designed to appeal primarily to children under twelve.

The policy will now apply to all media, including SMS and mobile marketing, interactive games and product placement, having previously only applied to television, print and online.

Getting kids' communication right

Today's children and young people are growing up in an increasingly commercialised world and exposure to promotional messages is an integral part of their development.

In order to help PR practitioners navigate the challenges that come with marketing to under 18s, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has produced a best practice guide for communicating with children. Covering legal requirements, best practice and the application of the code of conduct, it also sets out a series of principles including:

  • the need to take into account the age, maturity level and gender of the children so appropriate language and communication tools can be used
  • the requirement to engage with children, parents and carers during the design and delivery of campaigns, taking on and responding to feedback
  • never encouraging children to desire things they cannot afford or would not be able to use
  • supporting any claims with clear proof and / or reasonable rationale.
Also included is guidance on the food and drinks industry, online communications, in schools communications and handling difficult issues, with case studies.  If you're involved with any campaigns aimed at under 18s, please do source a copy.