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Children view 45% less food-related advertising on children's TV programming than ten years ago, but most advertisements they see promote unhealthy products. These key findings come from a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity...

Children who view TV commercials for unhealthy foods and drinks that include healthy lifestyle messages rate the products as more healthy compared to commercials for similar products with a different message. New research by the Rudd Center for Food ...

According to research from the Otago and Auckland Universities, children aged 11 to 13 are exposed to around 27 unhealthy food advertisements per day. The authors call for urgent action to reduce children’s exposure to marketing of unhealthy fo...

Looking at the compliance with the self-regulation Code of food advertising targeting minors (PAOS), a study conducted by the National School for Public Health found that 88% of the commercials are breaching the rules of the Code.  The study an...

A study by the University of Otago published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies found that parents support a ban on TV advertising to pre-school children. The authors surveyed more than 2000 parents about their lifestyle and attit...

On 29 July, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) released a report in which it claims that the food industry is "derailing effective sugar regulation in the EU", including through fighting off restrictions on the promotion of high-sugar food to ch...

Coca-Cola, Ambev and PepsiCo announced they will stop selling soft drinks in kindergarten and primary schools, or where a majority of students are below 12 years old. The new measures will begin applying in August. The three manufacturers recognise ...

Last week the French Assembly adopted an amendment re-introducing a ban on commercial advertising during and around children’s TV programmes on public broadcasting. The amended text was sent back to the Senate for re-examination. On 16 Decembe...

A recent academic study published online in the journal Appetite reveals that children see more advertisements for confectionery products today than prior to the launch of the industry’s pledge to restrict food marketing to children under the a...

On 19 August, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the national advertising self-regulatory body, released its seventh annual compliance report of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI), confirming participants&rs...

On 24 August, consumer group Foodwatch Germany released a report in which it claims that the EU Pledge is ineffective and calls on the federal government to ban the marketing of food products to under 16 years old based on WHO Europe nutrient profile...

In an article published in the July edition of the New Zealand Medical Journal, Professors Boyd Swinburn and Stefanie Vandevijvere from the University of Auckland call on the government to restrict food marketing to children which is “powerful,...

On 23 April, researchers from the University of Illinois published a study entitled: “Nutrition Recommendations and the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s 2014. Approved Food and Beverage Product List&rd...

Food and beverage companies continue promoting “unhealthy” food and beverage products to children and adolescents on digital media, effectively circumventing industry self-regulatory standards, a new academic paper published in the Health...

In a new press release, BEUC - the umbrella body for EU member states' national consumer groups – urges member states and EU Pledge signatories to endorse the nutrient profile model developed by the Europe Regional Office of the World Health Or...

On 20 January, a panel of experts convened by “Healthy Eating Research” - a programme of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, published a series of recommendations to improve industry voluntary standards for food and beverage advertising t...

On 3 December, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) released its 2013 annual report on Compliance and Progress. The 18 companies that participate in the advertising self-regulatory programme are “virtu...

On 30 October, researchers from the Arizona State University published results of a study examining marketing targeting children on the interior and exterior of fast food restaurants and its relationship to demographics. According to the study’...

The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, the country’s largest health and science meeting, began on 25 October in Vancouver. Dr. Perry Kendall British Columbia’s Provincial Health officer gave the opening speech and identified advertising of...

A report entitled: “Careless eating costs lives” published by the think-tank 2020health on 12 October calls on the British government to extend the ban on “unhealthy foods” advertising aimed at children to daytime television, ...

On 7 October, US think-tank the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association launched a Pledge signed by 14 companies to safeguard the privacy of pupils from kindergarten to primary school. The role of school servi...

The CEOs of some of the world’s leading food and non-alcoholic beverage companies, including Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nestlé, have agreed on a new policy for responsible advertising to children. The commitments, created in conjunction ...

On 3 September the Mexican Alliance for Food Safety (Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria, ASA) presented the report: "Food and beverage advertising to children: strategies of the industry", which calls for better regulation of HFSS food advertising to c...

On 2 September, research network EU Kids Online released a report with recommendations to improve children’s online safety. The report highlights that self-regulation, with oversight by governmental bodies and the EC, remains the primary means ...

On 18 June, the board of directors of the Consumer Goods Forum reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of its Health & Wellness Resolutions, published in June 2011. The forum is a global industry network representing over 400 members f...

The Obesity Policy Coalition called the Australian Food and Grocery Council Code a "sham" after nine out of 10 complaints they had lodged were dismissed. The group criticizes the Code for being too lenient in terms of the nutrition criteria used to d...

A report recently released by the Yale Rudd Center (“Older but still vulnerable: All children need protection from unhealthy food marketing”) calls on signatories of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) to...

On 31 December, the uniform nutrition criteria of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) came into force. These criteria define which products signatories can advertise to children under the age of 12. &ldquo...

The National Advertising Self-Regulation Commission (CONARP) has released a new industry Code for Advertising Self-Regulation intended to adapt the 1980 Colombian self-regulatory provisions to modern trends. As mentioned in the press release, th...

On 24 September, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the advertising industry' self-regulating body, released the fifth annual compliance report of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI), revealing participa...

The Brazilian Association of Advertisers (ABA) and CONAR (the body in charge of implementing the advertising self-regulatory code) have presented on 20 September two studies on advertising to children which seek to demonstrate that calls for a total ...

An article published in the European Law Review (“Time to Seize the (Red) Bull by the Horns: The European Union’s Failure to Protect Children from Alcohol and Unhealthy Food Marketing”) criticizes heavily the EU legislative framewor...

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by the Yale Rudd Center crticises the food and beverage industry for spending 'the bulk of its money' to promote ‘unhealthy’ products to children and teens, and calls on...

On 5 August, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Food Manufacturing Group (FMM MAFMAG) launched the “Responsible Advertising to Children Pledge”, as part of the long-standing commitment by the food and beverage industry to promote h...

In an academic article published online on 12 July in the Journal Obesity Reviews, authors Dr Tim Lobstein and Sara Emami express doubts about the impact and effectiveness of industry self-regulatory advertising codes. They argue that the evidence gi...

On 2 July 2013, Mexican NGO Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria, along with other civil society organisations, launched another campaign against junk food and soft drinks advertising aimed at children, entitled “Atrapa la Chatarra” (“C...

On 17 June, a group of European public health community organisations* sent a letter to Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, lending their support to the draft WHO Europe Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2014-2020 which highlights the fai...

On 18 June, WHO Europe released a report entitled the “Marketing of foods high in fat, salt and sugar to children: update 2012–2013”, in which it urges policy-makers to tighten restrictions on the marketing of food and beverages hig...

On 10 June, US Democrats Senators Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Dick Durbin (Illinois) sent a letter to Nickelodeon and its parent company Viacom requesting that the children’s entertai...

On 24 May, the British government announced in a press release that soon-to-be published research investigating the impact of the Bailey Review on parents and children (see AEf Alert 06/06/2011) will recognise industry’ self-regulatory efforts ...

On 9 May, the Canadian Medical Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Hypertension Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada and others* issued a policy statement calling on federal government to immediately begin a legislative process to res...

In the context of discussions on the revision of the Consumer Protection Code, a public hearing on advertising to children was held on 29 April. The hearing was organized by the Special Committee on the Modernization of the Consumer Protection Code ...

An academic paper published on 2 May by the Journal of Health Communication says the industry-led Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) is ineffective, as 84% of the foods promoted to children on Spanish-language channels ...

An academic study published on 1 May in the Public Health Nutrition journal on the impact of TV and internet food advertising found similar trends among adults and children when it comes to evaluating food after being exposed to food advertising onli...

On 3 May, Foodwatch Germany issued a factsheet entitled “The EU Pledge - a fig leaf for advertising to children in the food industry” in which it criticises the EU Pledge for allowing the continued marketing of unhealthy food and beverage...

A new book entitled “Obesity in Mexico: Recommendations for Federal Policies” edited by Dr. Juan Ángel Rivera Dommarco and Dr. Mauricio Hernández Ávila was presented during the International Health Sciences Congress (...

The Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), a new international index released on 12 March, ranked the 25 largest food and beverage manufacturers based on their nutrition practices, including their efforts to address the problems of undernut...

On 21 February, the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education adopted an own-initiative report on “the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive” welcoming advertising self-regulation as a complement to regul...

The Brazilian Code of Advertising Self-Regulation (the “Self-Regulation Code”) has been recently amended to include additional and stricter provisions on advertising to children, as announced on 31 January by CONAR (the advertis...

In a book released on 31 December entitled “Advances in Communication Research to Reduce Childhood Obesity”, the authors criticize advertising and industry codes for failing to keep up with technology and marketing changes, suggesting to ...

On 17 December, the Alliance of Consumer Organisations  presented the results of their common actions through 2012 and their priorities for the coming year. In 2013, the Alliance will pursue efforts to curb childhood obesity and intends to push ...

A report released by British consumer campaigning charity Which? in December 2012 calls on the Government to develop restrictions to address current gaps in policies for food marketing to children up to 16 and to ensure all companies commit to them. ...

On 3 December, the Food Marketing Workgroup, which represents more than 55 health groups and 30 experts, called on Nickelodeon and parent company Viacom to join the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), an industry self-r...

Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based NGO and consumer rights group, published a report in November in which it calls for stricter regulations to food and beverage advertising to children. The report also features of the current federal regulation...

On 27 November, the Singaporean Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) jointly launched a public consultation to strengthen standards for the advertising of food and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) to children, as ...

The French Children's Ombudsman has put forward ten proposals to increase the protection of children in our increasingly technological world in an extensive report published on 20 November 2012, entitled “Children and screens: growing up in the...

The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report prepared by MEP Silvia Costa, an Italian member of the Socialist group, on the ‘Protection of children in the digital world’ during its plenary session on 20 November. The opinion w...

The Australian Christian Lobby has launched a renewed national campaign to make outdoor advertising G rated. Sexually explicit material displayed in public areas continues to impact and contribute to the sexualisation of children. ACL spokeswoman W...

On 14 November, during a meeting of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) announced the adoption by EU Pledge signatories of common nutritional criteria for food and beverages adve...

On 12 November, public health agency the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) released ‘Exposing the Charade', a “detailed investigation into the failure of junk food marketing codes” calling for a fundamental shift in the way “unhe...

An independent review released on 2 November found that 74% of signatory companies participating in the two Australian self-regulatory programmes to moderate children’s exposure to advertisements for non-core food (the Responsible Children&rsqu...

On 27 October, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the government will introduce stricter guidelines to regulate the advertising of products which are high in fat, sugar and salt, in line with recommendations put forth by the Wo...

Experts form the National Public Health Institute (INSP) and from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) stated that the Self-Regulatory Code concerning Advertising Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children (the PABI code) adopted by the ...

A study carried out by researchers from the University of Malaga, published in the latest 2012 issue of Pensar a la Publicidad examines the main self-regulatory codes of conduct and norms as regards to children and advertising in Spain. On the basis ...

Cereals advertised to children contain more whole grains and key nutrients, and less sugar, calories and sodium than before, according to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the industry advertising self-regulation ...

A study published in the Journal MBC Public Health by Australian academics found that the current co-regulatory system of food advertising targeting children in Australia is inadequate. In Australia, mandatory regulation called “Chil...

In report released on 27 September by IASO (the International Association for the Study of Obesity) entitled “A Junk‐Free Childhood 2012: Marketing foods and beverages to children in Europe”, author Tim Lobstein criticizes the leeway le...

On 19 September, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the advertising industry' self-regulating body, released the fourth annual compliance report of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI), revealing particip...

On 11 September, the Belgian Advertisers Association (UBA) and Belgian food associations COMEOS and FEVIA officially launched the “Belgian Pledge”, an initiative whereby 33 signatories commit not to advertise products to children under 12...

Research published in the Journal Appetite insists that current policies addressing food marketing to children fail to take into account the interactive nature of digital marketing. The author, Georgina Cairns of the University of Stirling,...

The Austrian Advertising Council announced the revision of its self-regulation code. The new code, applicable as of 1 June 2012, introduces updated requirements with regard to violence and children, and new rules applicable to teenagers. An importan...

An academic article by K. Montgomery and J. Chester entitled: “The New Threat of Digital Marketing” calls for the development of safeguards through a combination of policy and self-regulatory activities addressing concerns raised by the u...

The International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA)’s 2011 compliance monitoring report reveals a 97.6% compliance rate for advertising and marketing communications to children on television and 100% on internet and print. For this third ann...

On 5 March, Labour Shadow Minister for public health Diane Abbott called for a “junk food” advertising ban on television, internet, on mobile phones, packaging and in‐store. During a speech she gave at the British Institute for Public ...

On 16 February, the Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) adopted a recommendation to member states’ governments calling for enhanced children’s online protection. The Council is the OECD decis...

On 18 December, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Children’s Food Campaign released a report entitled “The 21st century gingerbread house” calling on the UK Government to introduce consistent advertising regulations across ...

According to amendments to the 2012 spending bill adopted on 16 December in the House and on 17 December in the Senate, the US Congress will require the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on food marketed to children to conduct a cost-ben...

On 14 December, the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) published a report on the results of over five years of implementation of the self-regulatory programme. The report notes the signatories’ excellent complianc...

On 28 November, members of the “EU Pledge” published the results of their annual monitoring exercise and announced the adoption of stronger commitments regarding food and beverage advertising to children. McDonald's also publicly signed u...

“Unhealthy” food and beverage marketing aimed at children would be banned from the internet, email and SMS, under a proposal tabled by the Australia’s Green party. It would also be illegal to show junk food advertisements on commerc...

On 14 November, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) released an updated Code of Ethics to apply to to all advertising and marketing communications from 1 January 2012. Amendments include a clarification of the meaning of “...

The American Heart Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Berkeley Media Studies Group, Center for Digital Democracy, Prevention Institute, Shape Up America and Trust for America’s Health have sponsored an advert&nb...

On 29 September, the organisation for professional marketers “Chartered Institute for Marketing” (CIM) published a research paper entitled “Leave those kids alone?” designed to serve as a practice guide for industry self-regul...

NGO Children's Food Campaign (CFC) claims in a report published on 7 September that the Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal launched in March 2011 is ineffective and largely ignored by many big food companies. The report, entitled The Irr...

During the opening of the Second International Forum on Interventions on Child Obesity, José Angel Córdova Villalobos, Mexican Health Secretary, reportedly affirmed before an audience of experts that the Self-regulatory Code on Advertis...

In a report entitled “Soft Drink, Hard Sell”, published on 29 August, the Children’s Food Campaign surveyed marketing campaigns of selected soft drinks and compared the products’ content with their marketing claims/packaging. ...

Five years after the publication by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of their landmark report on “Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?” calling for industry action, the IOM commissioned a literature review to assess...

In a study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, researchers from the University of Ottawa found the Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) does not have a significant impact on the amount of food ...

A review of the Australian National Classification Scheme (“Scheme”) undertaken by the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recommends major reforms to the Australian censorship system in order to extend it to advertising ...

A study published online in the Medical Journal of Australia on 27 June found that children are still exposed to the same amount of unhealthy fast-food ads despite the introduction of the “Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to...

On 15 June, during the inauguration of its annual Global Summit, held until 17 June in Barcelona, Spain, the Consumer Goods Forum announced the adoption of 24 commitments for the food and non-food consumer goods sectors, in a series of resolutions on...

On 16 June, the Spanish Congress adopted a Law on Food Safety and Nutrition (see the Press release in Spanish). The Law aims to regulate food safety and certain aspects of food advertising, and seeks, in particular, to protect children and to curb ob...

On 6 June, the independent Review on the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood entitled “Letting children be children”, authored by Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of Christian charity Mothers' Union, was published. The review was...

In the current edition of the “Public Health Nutrition” Journal, Corinna Hawkes from the Centre for Food Policy in the UK and Jennifer L. Harris from the Yale Rudd Center, review and analyse the various “food industry pledges”...

On 9 May, the Australian Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC), along with other NGOs* called on Australian State and territory governments to adopt legislation restricting all forms of advertising and promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children. ...

On 28 April, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)* and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) published the results of new research on food and beverage advertising to children, revealing significant decrease in the amount of ads seen b...

A report published in April by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the research published between January 2008 and February 2011 on food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents. It aims to assess, among other things, industry self-...

On 3 March, the Australian Senate defeated at second reading Bill n° 2010 introduced by Greens Leader Bob Brown aiming to restrict the advertising of “unhealthy food and beverages” on TV between 6.30 am and 9.30 pm. The draft bill en...

During the opening of the 14th Congress on Public Health Research, José Angel Córdova Villalobos, Mexican Health Secretary, reportedly announced plans to prohibit the advertising of “products causing childhood obesity” durin...




Childhood obesity is a very serious health concern that needs addressing urgently given the social and economic costs involved. But sensationalism and dogma can be obstacles to progress on the thorny issue of food marketing to kids, writes Stephan Lo...

One of the big challenges for children’s app developers is the reluctance of many parents to pay upfront for apps, even if they distrust in-app purchases. Could advertising be the answer? Ads as the funding source for children’s media is...

A year on from the first high-profile controversy around children and in-app purchases (IAP) in apps – the Smurfs' Village game on iOS – some elements of the apps industry still haven't learned the lessons. That game's developer has just...

Brands need to continue to “raise the bar” by developing responsible marketing practises that exceed societal expectations if they want to continue to avoid statutory regulation imposed by the government, according to the president of I...

Unilever's chief marketing officer speaks to Jo Confino about the company's stance on responsible advertising, the power of social media to self regulate and the reasons behind its banned Lynx advert. 'Talk to your daughter before the ...