Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

International Food and Beverage Alliance Global Policy on Marketing and Advertising to Children (IFBA Pledge)

Description and Objective:The International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) is a "group of food and non-alcoholic beverage companies with a presence in over 200 countries worldwide, who share a common goal of helping consumers in all nations to achieve balanced diets and healthy lifestyles." In 2008, they made five commitments with this objective, including one on marketing and advertising. These commitments were renewed in September 2014 ( Each participant is required to make individual global commitments on marketing and advertising in order to be an IFBA member; these criteria can be more restrictive than the core criteria in the pledge.
Number of Pledge Signatories:11 (initially 8)
Date Implemented:IFBA Global Policy announced April 2009, revised June 2010, November 2011, and September 2014; implementation of policy revised in 2011 required by 2013, with new companies joining IFBA required to implement within one year of joining; September 2014 revision scheduled to be implemented by 2017
Definition of Children:Under 12 years
Definition of Exempt Foods:Set by each company provided that the foods fulfill “specific nutritional criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines"
Definition of Child-Targeted Media:Audiences of 35% or more of children under 12; prior to 2010 the definition was 50%
Communication Channels Covered:TV, print, 3rd-party Internet, primary schools, except if requested by, or agreed with, the school administration for specific educational purposes (added in 2010), company-owned websites (added in 2011); 2014 revision also includes outdoor, mobile, and SMS marketing, interactive games, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, cinema and product placement
Marketing Techniques Covered:Advertising in covered communications channels

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
Coca-Cola35% or more of audienceNo Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus includes advertising on the radio and in primary schools and, where data is available, Internet and mobile phones."
Ferrero35% of more of audienceExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus includes primary schools
General MillsTargeted to children (specified as "majority" for some forms of Internet-based marketing) (age 13 for marketing on cellphones)Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus includes channels of radio, cinema (for tie-ins), cell phones, schools, techniques of product placement, interactive games, advertising using licensed characters, web sites, blogs and games on the Internet, some forms of marketing on cell phones (for children aged under 13) and any technique that encourage the use of inappropriate social networking sites
Grupo Bimbo50% of more of audienceNot SpecifiedCore pledge, plus includes radio advertising, product placement, interactive games, and use of liscensed characters; and specified sales promotions (e.g. contests)
Kellogg's50% or more of audience for TV, radio, Internet; for print, specifically designed for childrenExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus includes channels of radio, schools, cell phones, viral marketing, company-owned web sites, techniques of product placement, viral marketing, cell phones, sponsorship of events, product-branded toys (i.e. those not made by Kellogg's), product sponsorship of kids clubs and other children's commitments, and use of celebrities associated with mass media targeted at children
Kraft Foods/Mondelez International35% of more audienceExempt FoodsCore pledge, plus radio, own-brand websites, advergaming, mobile, video and cinema
MarsFor TV, audiences of 25% or more of children 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'sNot specifiedNot specified other than schools with children under age 12, and instore and external advertising directed to children will feature only water, milk and juice as the beverage in Happy Meals
NestléAudiences of 35% or more of children under 12Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus "whole digisphere"
PepsiCoAudiences of 35% or more of children under 12Exempt FoodsCore pledge, plus company-owned Internet
Unilever35% or more of audience under 12No Exempt 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.)