The World Health Organization names childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century. And it’s a key reason why Unilever is committing to new principles on marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children.
It’s a move designed to help parents, caregivers and kids make informed choices about the food and drinks they buy, and to address the rise of social media, and the vast increase in products on sale.
So what will we be doing differently?
By the end of 2020, we will stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below 13 via social media channels.
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.
We’ll also be limiting our use of cartoon characters. While you’ll still see some on our point-of-sale materials, they will only be used for products with a specific nutritional profile.
Introducing the ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ promise
Our ice cream business will be leading the implementation of this approach and putting these new principles into practice. Wall’s – the name behind brands such as Max, Paddle Pop, Twister and many more – is becoming the first global ice cream brand with a ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ promise.
This promise is based on three pillars, designed to help parents and caregivers when choosing products for their children: Responsibly Communicated, Responsibly Sold and Responsibly Developed.
- Wall’s kids’ ice creams will be Responsibly Communicated. That means we’re shifting our advertising to speak to parents and caregivers – the people we feel should be the decision-makers when it comes to their children having a treat. And in line with our company-wide pledge, Wall’s will not direct any marketing communications to kids under the age of 12, or under the age of 13 on social media.
- Wall’s kids’ ice creams will be Responsibly Sold. Since we know that children under 12 will inevitably be exposed to our products, we are introducing a ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ logo on our point-of sale communications, such as product packs and price cards. It indicates to parents and caregivers which products are designed for children, so they can make an informed choice when buying our products.
- The ice creams in Wall’s global kids’ portfolio are Responsibly Developed. By the end of 2020, every ice cream in the kids’ range will have no more than 110 calories and a maximum of 12g of sugar per portion and we are continuously working to further improve this.
“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,” says Matt Close, Executive Vice President, Global Ice Cream Category.
The deadline for compliance with these new principles is the end of this year.