Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

EU Pledge (EU Pledge)

Description and Objective:Announced in December 2007, the aim of the EU Pledge is "common commitment" that aims to "to change the way food and beverage companies advertise to children." It applies to all the countries of European Union (EU) The EU Pledge is endorsed and supported by the World Federation of Advertisers, and managed by Landmark Europe. Although implemented for the original 11 signatories in December 2011, companies joining at later dates are implementing the Pledge as more recent specified dates. Each participant is required to make individual commitments to the pledge, which can be more restrictive than the core criteria in the pledge. In November 2012, the EU Pledge Secretariat published a consistent set of nutrient criteria to be used by companies which have exemptions on their restrictions on advertising to children. These new nutrient criteria are scheduled to be implemented in 2014.
Number of Pledge Signatories:20 (originally 11); originally included: Cadbury (purchased by Kraft/Mondelez International in 2010); Wrigley (purchased by Mars in 2008); and Procter and Gamble (only food brand purchased by Kellogg’s in 2012).
Date Implemented:January 1, 2009 for all founding members; other companies may have later dates
Definition of Children:Under 12 years
Definition of Exempt Foods:Defined according to a common set of nutrient criteria (implemented 2014). The common set of criteria replace a series of different nutritional criteria set by each compnay. Companies may still extend beyond the common criteria.
Definition of Child-Targeted Media:Audiences of 35% or more of children under 12; from December 31, 2016, the definition will incude, where no reliable audience measurement data is available, advertising "designed to appeal primarily to children" according to the overall impression of marketing communication
Communication Channels Covered:TV, print, 3rd-party Internet, company-owned brand websites (latter implemented by January 2013), primary schools (except where specifically requested by, or agreed with, the school administration for educational purposes). From December 31, 2016, radio, cinema, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, interactive games, mobile and SMS marketing will also be included.
Marketing Techniques Covered:Advertising in covered communications channels. From December 31, 2016, product placement will also be included.

Company Commitments

Click on the blue highlighted company names to access their pledge commitments.

Name Child-Targeted Media:
Audience Definition
Exempt Foods Communications Channels/Marketing Techniques
Burger King30% or more of audience under 12Exempt FoodsSame as core pledge
Cadbury (now part of Kraft)
Cereal Partners WorldwideSame as core pledgeExempt FoodsSame as core pledge; CPW is a joint venture between General Mills and Nestle
Chips GroupSame as core pledgeNot SpecifiedSame as core pledge
Coca-Cola35% or more of audience under 12No Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus includes advertising using licensed characters, product placement in all media, and interactive games
Dannon (Danone in Europe and Canada)35% or more of audience under 12Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus specifies no advertising of licensed characters, and no advertisements displayed in the vicinity of schools.
Estrella MaarudSame as core pledgeNot SpecifiedSame as core pledge
Ferrero35% or more of audience under 12No Exempt FoodsSame as core pledge
General MillsSame as for CPWExempt FoodsSame as for CPW
IntersnackSame as core pledgeExempt FoodsSame as core pledge
Kellogg's50% or more for TV, radio, Internet; for TV advertising, shows with 35-49% maybe included if specifically targeted to children; for print, specifically designed for childrenExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus restrictions on product placement, advertising using licensed characters and celebrity spokespeople, viral marketing, cell phones, company-owned web sites, product-branded toys and product sponsorship of kids clubs
Lorenz Snack-WorldSame as core pledgeNot SpecifiedSame as core pledge
MarsFor TV, more than 25% of audience under 12; for film, a regional rating system; other media and techniques, primarily intended for childrenExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus sponsorship of media programming, films, and sports events in primary schools; company-owned websites and other forms of Internet-marketing, product placement (including cinema), advertising using licensed characters (except in venues controlled by parents and other gatekeepers) and celebrities (only for chocolate, gum and confectionary), some specific restrictions on promotions (e.g. incentives and/or give-aways linked to educational themes and events intended solely for children under 12). Children can be not depicted consuming chocolate products in advertising.
McDonald'sSame as core pledgeExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus no “product placements of our food or drinks in the programme/editorial content of any third party medium aimed at children for the purpose of promoting the sale of those products"
NestléSame as for CPWNot SpecifiedSame as for CPW
PepsiCoMedia that is directed primarily to childrenExempt FoodsSame as core pledge
Quick Group (now called Orporto)Same as core pledgeExempt FoodsSame as core pledge
Royal FrieslandcampinaAudiences of 30% or more of children under 12 at time of media planningExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus no licensed characters in advertisements, promotion or on packages of foods defined as unhealthy.
Unichips-San CarloSame as core pledgeExempt FoodsSame as core pledge
Unilever35% or more of audience under 12Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus packaging and labelling; in-store activities including closed circuit television ads; consumer, trade/sales and professional promotions and public relations materials, direct marketing; and all other forms of communication (e.g. cartoon characters, product placements, advergaming, free gifts/toys, etc.)
Wrigley (now part of Mars)
Zweifel Pomy-ChipSame as core pledgeNot SpecifiedSame as core pledge