INDIA: Nestle, Kellogg, Mars join advertising pledge

Posted by Josette Dunn on 23rd July 2010

Food industry heavyweights including Nestlé, Kellogg and Mars Inc have pledged to use responsible advertising and marketing in India.General Mills and local Unilever arm Hindustan Unilever are also among the companies that have signed up to a code to not advertise food and beverages products where more than half of a media audience is under 12.

Products that only fulfil “specific nutritional criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines” will be allowed to advertise to media audiences where at least half are children under the age of 12.

Nestle said its signing of the pledge indicated its “commitment to promote healthy dietary choices and active lifestyles”.

A spokesperson for the company, whose ‘Maggi 2 Minute Noodles’ is popular among children, promised: “We will continue to evaluate our products and make changes wherever required to improve further”.

Cadbury India has yet to sign up to the pledge but its spokesperson told just-food it would look to include its namesake brand in the pledge.

“We are currently in dialogue and will transition our Cadbury brand to the marketing-to-children policy,” the spokesperson said.

Concern has been raised by products such as potato chips, instant noodles, chocolates, pizzas and burgers being advertised on five 24-hour children’s TV channels in India.

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