FMCG giant Unilever has tightened its global principles for responsible marketing to children.
The parent company of Ben and Jerry’s and Wall’s ice cream revealed from next January, all Unilever brands will stop to marketing food and drinks to children under the age of 16 on both social media and traditional media.
Influencers will also be banned in any kind of promotions targeting the age group, alongside, minimum “child appealing” ads that feature influencers.
In most countries, the food and drinks industry restricts marketing to children under 13 years old and as a result, Unilever’s new enhanced principles include not targeting children under 16 years old with any marketing or social media communications, not collecting or storing data on children under 16 and not using influencers, celebrities or social media stars who are under the age of 16 or primarily appeal to children under the age of 16.
The policy also includes, providing clear and prominent disclosure of provisions to influencers and limiting child appeal to influencer content and continuing to refrain from promoting its brands or products in schools, with the exception of participation in educational campaigns, when specifically requested.
“Recognising the power that social media and influencer marketing can have on children’s choices, we believe it’s important to raise the bar on responsible marketing to a minimum age of 16 years-old across both traditional and social media,” Unilever president for ice cream Matt Close said.
“By making these changes, our goal is to continue to reduce children’s exposure to advertising from the food and beverage industry, and instead support parents to select appropriate treats, to be enjoyed from time to time.”