We’ve already mentioned our Consumer Communication Principles and Policy on Marketing Communication to Children, and have an implementation process in place to ensure global compliance with them. This process comprises:
- Implementation guidelines that explain the restrictions on advertising products that do not fulfil Nestlé’s Nutritional Foundation (NF) criteria, how to brief our advertising and media agencies and conditions to meet if we sponsor an event.
- A marketing monitoring system, which reports annually on all TV, print, digital and school event marketing. This goes to our internal audit group, which flags any non-compliance situations directly to the Executive Board.
Our voluntary commitments
Our policies are guided by the global, regional and national commitments and pledges, listed below, that aim to establish industry consensus on minimum standards for marketing to children.
International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) commitment
We’re a founding member of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA). In 2008, IFBA members voluntarily committed to monitor and report publicly and annually on compliance with the IFBA Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children which is in line with the aims of the 2010 World Health Organisation (WHO) set of Recommendations on the Marketing of Foods and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children.
For 2012, in its fourth year of compliance monitoring and reporting, IFBA members have demonstrated a high rate of compliance consistent with previous years’ results. It found 100% compliance in print and online advertising, and 98.9% compliance in television advertising.
The Report was based on a review of close to 450 000 television ads on 200+ channels reviewed over a three-month period across seven countries – China (Shanghai region), Colombia, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Africa. 57 print publications and 87 websites were reviewed across five countries – Brazil, China (Shanghai region), Russia, Singapore and South Africa.
EU Pledge commitment
The EU Pledge is a voluntary initiative by leading food and beverage companies – including Nestlé – to change the way they advertise to children. We developed it in response to EU calls for the food industry to use commercial communications to help parents make the right dietary and lifestyle choices for their children. Our 2008 Policy on Marketing to Children was a direct result of our commitment to the Pledge.
Initially, EU Pledge member companies committed to not advertise products to children under 12 years of age unless the product fulfilled specific nutrition criteria. ‘Advertising to children under 12 years’ was defined as advertising to media audiences with a minimum of 50% of children under 12 years. We and the other EU Pledge member companies have now enhanced this commitment by lowering the audience threshold to 35% of children under 12 years.
As of 1 January 2012, EU Pledge companies have extended the ‘under-12’ commitment to cover both third-party online advertising and brand websites.
Our overall EU Pledge compliance rate in 2012 was 98.5% for TV, 100% for print and online. We maintain tight control of our media planning and buying to retain close to 100% compliance across all media.
Results from the 2012 third-party monitoring report show a 73% decline in advertising of products that do not meet Nestlé’s EU Pledge companies’ nutritional criteria in programmes targeted at children (2011: 79%).
To date, we have signed voluntary pledges on the marketing of foods to children covering almost 50 countries globally. These pledges represent a positive step towards helping children adopt sound dietary habits and a healthy lifestyle. The latest example was the launch of the Malaysian Pledge in December 2012 under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The Food Group of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has pledged to work with advertising associations to limit advertisements of products which do not meet the criteria of nutritional value to children aged 12 and below.