Blog: Why EU ad pledge will make compulsive viewing
Dean Best | 17 December 2007
In a bid to display their seriousness in tackling child obesity, the EU's biggest food firms signed up to a set of marketing commitments last week.
Similar moves in the US are, after initial fierce criticism, slowly gaining support and it has quickly become clear that the European initiative will also have to overcome the sceptics.
The EU Pledge – signed by food and beverage firms that account for around two-thirds of the annual marketing spend in the sector – is a voluntary undertaking to curb advertising to children. Consumer groups have expressed scepticism and have continued to call for legislation rather than self-regulation. That concern, though, is to be expected; it is only once initiatives like the EU Pledge have demonstrated their effectiveness that they start to gain any kind of credibility.
However, like many self-regulatory initiatives, the pledge will have the problem of not representing the entire industry. While a number of major companies have signed up, there are some notable absentees, not least McDonald's, a major advertiser to children and a company that often attracts the ire of pressure groups.
To its credit, the requirements of the EU Pledge do go further than current advertising codes of practice in most EU countries. Its proponents point out that it is the first time in Europe that a group of companies has set up a common framework on advertising to children, and the first time a unified age benchmark has been agreed. Nevertheless, the decision not to opt for a self-imposed time watershed will attract criticism. This aspect of the pledge could be a weakness that critics of the scheme will look to exploit.
One thing is certain – it’s a topic that does – and will continue to – make for compulsive viewing as we head into 2008.
To follow on from our earlier notice and after some hard work from our technical team, just-food is back live after today's power outage....
Much of the UK has felt the impact of Storm Doris today - and just-food's head office has been no exception....
A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...
Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- How General Mills plans to grow - CAGNY
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- Unilever launches operational review
- Kraft Heinz pulls Unilever bid
- Kerry operating earnings strengthen on slow sales
- Glanbia focuses on nutrition with Irish dairy spin
- Kerry's Scanlon to replace McCarthy as CEO