The consumer Goods Forum

CHAPTER 4
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TO CHILDREN
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CHAPTER 4
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TO CHILDREN
WHY MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TO CHILDREN ARE IMPORTANT

Consumers don’t like marketing communications aimed at children. They feel it is taking advantage of young people who are incapable of making decisions for themselves.  As the leading global consumer and retail industry organisation, the CGF can and must take the leadership role in a sensible approach to marketing communications to children.

The specific objective of this effort is to ensure that foods with too much salt, sugar or fat are not marketed to children. How much is too much?  Please take a look at two examples:
eu-pledge
WFA

12 YEARS

is the CGF agreed age threshold for advertising

The CGF agreed age threshold for marketing communications to children is 12 years because empirical research shows that after this age, children develop their own behaviours as consumers more independently and are able to more effectively critique advertising schemes.

Advertising includes TV, print, radio, DVD/CD-ROM direct marketing, product placement, cinema, internet, social media, interactive games, outdoor advertising, mobile and SMS.

The CGF is also reviewing our “Marketing Communications to Children” commitment to expand the focus beyond advertising to marketing. In this context, we will be exploring how retailers and manufacturers can work in partnership to improve point-of-sale-related materials and packaging for product marketing to children. Please let us know your thoughts about this.

CHAPTER 4
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TO CHILDREN
GETTING STARTED

In order to make progress on the CGF Marketing Communications to Children commitment, the following six steps provide some practical ideas for how to get started:

UNDERSTAND
1

Understand the implications of the CGF Marketing  Communications to Children Commitment for your company.

  • Share and discuss the CGF F Marketing  Communications to Children platform with key internal stakeholders who would need to be involved in developing policy to meet the Commitment. This should include executive leadership and the Board, marketing, public affairs, compliance (legal), and key category experts, among others.
INVENTORY
2

Inventory your current product advertising approach to get a complete picture of where, how, and what you are advertising to children.

  • Agree on a framework for measuring current product advertising and use this consistently across all markets and products in scope.
IDENTIFY
3

Identify which criteria are suitable for these products and which of your products meet these nutritional criteria that are appropriate to marketing communications to children.

ASSESS
4

Assess which of your advertised products to children do not meet the specific nutritional profile or (inter)national dietary guidelines in relevant markets.

  • Set out a framework and roadmap to ensure compliance. Either stop advertising the product to children or develop a roadmap for compliance with nutrition criteria if the intent is to continue advertising to children.
  • Agree on milestones to ensure compliance.
DETERMINE
5

Determine how to adapt and comply with the Marketing  Communications to Children Commitment.

  • Change or remove advertising.
  • Change the nutritional profile of the product to meet specific nutritional criteria or (inter)national dietary guidelines.
CELEBRATE
6

In May 2016, together with the World Federation of Advertisers, we published our Implementation Guide for Marketing Communications to Children. This new document, as well as detailing how members of the CGF can meet this 2018 Commitment, shows how CGF members are working together to drive positive actions globally. The Implementation Guide builds on this original work from the Marketing to Children working group, and highlights five key steps for successful implementation. Download to learn more. Our retailer and manufacturer members will continue to find new ways to drive implementation of this, and other, Health & Wellness Commitments.

Celebrate and communicate success within and outside your organisation. If it is important to your consumers, and it is important to you… then it is important to us.

2016-M2C-Guide-Cover

The WFA has also developed a practical road test that enables companies to take stock of where they are in developing their Marketing Communications to Children policies and helps guide them through further development. The test uses real-life examples of advertisement and can be a helpful way to educate marketeers. DO IT and measure your progress.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

mars
MARS HAS SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED A GLOBAL COMMITMENT ON NO MARKETING TO CHILDREN UNDER 12
mars-food-code

WHY WE WERE MOTIVATED TO CHANGE

  • Growing concern in Europe on the marketing of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) foods to children prompted Mars to act.
  • Between 2000 – 2006, Mars examined the academic evidence on marketing to children and concluded that from age 12 onwards, the majority of children can think critically about advertising.
  • Growing body of scientific literature and the consensus on age 12 forms the basis of the Mars Marketing Code.

HOW WE DID IT

  • A bold commitment: we do not market to children under 12 years old.
  • Regular code updates and strong governance.
  • Developed an online ‘drivers license’ test to certify all associates in marketing & corporate affairs plus external agencies.
  • Initiated industry-wide discussions through World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).
  • The Mars Marketing Code was developed by marketing, and corporate affairs leaders and launched in 2007.

IMPACT WE HAVE SEEN

  • Global commitment on no marketing to children under 12 for all Mars food products (including chocolate, confectionery, gum and main meal products).
  • Encouraged the wider industry to follow through trade association discussions.
  • Promoted self regulation as a viable alternative to regulation for marketing and advertising restrictions.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Top down leadership/sponsorship for the marketing code essential;
    • Owned by marketing rather than corporate affairs to truly embrace the Code;
    • Have to win over heart and minds to make it work;
    • Governed by annual board review of compliance; and
    • ‘Drivers license’ approach gave personal responsibility to all associates involve in marketing communications.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

ahold
AHOLD HAS INTRODUCED A HEALTHY PRODUCT LINE FOR CHILDREN
ahold-children

WHY WE WERE MOTIVATED TO CHANGE

  • Was the first retailer in the Czech Republic to introduce a healthy product line for children and anticipated a growing customer interest in eating healthy.
  • With the Smurf characters, popular among children, Albert stressed the importance of fruit and vegetables, and also offered its customers recipes for healthy breakfast and snacks.
  • Creating the Smurf campaign and healthy kids product line allowed us to teach children the principles of a healthy diet in a fun and positive way.

HOW WE DID IT

  • 42 own brand products were selected or formulated together with suppliers, based on the strict “I know what I eat” national health criteria.
  • The packaging was changed into Smurf-themed packaging to make them easy to spot and attractive to children.
  • A campaign was created to create a Smurf ‘mania’ in the Czech Republic using various media coverage, creating fun games and a real buzz around healthy products, Smurf gifts and other merchandise.

IMPACT WE HAVE SEEN

  • The healthy product line for children was a great success and the Smurf coverage was greatly appreciated by customers, both parents and children.
  • The campaign illustrates how own brand healthy products for children can be successful in increasing awareness of healthy products and diets for children and their families.
  • The impact has been measured via additional sales and customer response.
  • Main take away is that as a retailer one can have direct impact and support healthier lives of children and their families and drive commercial success at the same time.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

FURTHER COMPANY EXAMPLES

nestle
pepsico
cocacola
CHAPTER 4
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS TO CHILDREN
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
EXAMPLE POLICIES ON ADVERTISING/MARKETING TO CHILDREN
cocacola
mars
unilever
general_mills
mondelez
nestle
ferrero
mcdonalds
pepsico
kellogs
bimbo
friesland
danone
SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON NUTRITIONAL CRITERIA
eu-pledge
WHO
WFA
council-for-better-business
SOURCES OF FURTHER INFORMATION ON POLICIES ON MARKETING TO CHILDREN
IFBA_logo
ICC
council-for-better-business
advertising-to-children-3