Our policies are guided by a series of global, regional and national commitments and pledges that aim to establish industry consensus on minimum standards for marketing to children.
As a member of the IFBA, Nestlé is committed to comply with their Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children. Each year, IFBA engages a third party to monitor and report publicly on members’ compliance with the Global Policy. In 2013, the report was based on a review of close to 247 television adverts, reviewed over a three-month period across nine countries – Brazil, China (Shanghai region), Colombia, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand. 50 print publications and 86 websites were reviewed across five countries – Brazil, China (Shanghai region), Russia, Singapore and South Africa. Nestlé’s overall IFBA Pledge compliance rate in 2013 was 98.7% for television, and 100% for print and online.
National and regional pledges
National and regional pledges, based on the IFBA Global Policy, have been launched around the world to encourage food companies that are not IFBA members to improve the types of products advertised to children and promote balanced diets and healthy, active lifestyles. It will also enable the monitoring of both compliance and impact at a local level. To date, we have signed voluntary pledges on the marketing of foods to children covering more than 50 countries.
A key component of these pledges is ‘common nutritional criteria’, which set limits on calories and public health sensitive nutrients such as salt, saturated fat and sugar within specific countries or regions. They also establish minimum nutritional requirements for individual categories, such as the percentage of protein and calcium in dairy products. We already have our own Nutritional Foundation criteria, but we welcome these benchmarks as an important step towards greater transparency and consistency, and will use them to assess the nutritional composition of our products and develop healthier options.
In August 2013, as part of the industry’s ongoing commitment to supporting healthy, active lifestyles, the Malaysian Food Manufacturing Group launched the Responsible Advertising to Children – Malaysia pledge. Each of the signatories, including Nestlé, developed their own nutritional criteria and published individual company commitments that supported the pledge by 1 January 2014.
On 31 December 2013, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative introduced uniform nutritional criteria in the USA. These replaced the previous, company-specific nutrition criteria for child-directed advertising. They will be reviewed periodically, such as when the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are issued, and updated if necessary.
From December 2014 the EU Pledge – a voluntary initiative by leading food and beverage companies to change the way they advertise to children – will include common nutritional criteria to encourage the advertising of healthier products. In 2013, our EU Pledge compliance rate was 98.5%. The EU Pledge and the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation already have nutritional criteria for advertising directed at children under the age of 12, and we are committed to applying the stricter of the two nutrition criteria.
In 2013, the European Heart Network conducted a project which compared the EU Pledge criteria to existing schemes in Europe. They found that the EU Pledge criteria were effectively equivalent to the other schemes used for advertising to children (e.g. the UK criteria).