Canadian Vending

News
Drink Makers Restrict Marketing Aimed At Children


April 29, 2008
By Canadian Vending Staff

BRUSSELS (AP) – Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soft drink manufacturers have agreed to end the targeting of young children in their marketing campaigns in Europe as part of a European Union drive to fight rising obesity among youngsters.

BRUSSELS (AP) – Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soft drink manufacturers
have agreed to end the targeting of young children in their marketing
campaigns in Europe as part of a European Union drive to fight rising
obesity among youngsters.

The decision was announced by UNESDA, a federation of beverage
companies in Europe that includes Coca-Cola Co., Pepsi Beverages
Europe, Unilever and Cadbury Schweppes.

“This is a significant move by the industry,” said Stephen Kehoe,
vice-president for public and government affairs at PepsiCo Europe.

Advertisment

This is the first time ever that the major beverage producers in Europe
have come together to jointly define their commitments related to
responsible sales and marketing practices,” he said in an UNESDA
statement.
The companies commit not to place advertisements targeting children
under 12 and to halt any sales in primary schools unless requested by
school authorities.

In secondary schools, they agreed that sodas should be offered only
alongside water, juices and other calorie-free drinks and in unbranded
vending machines that promote healthy diets and lifestyles. Drinks will
also be offered in “appropriate container sizes, allowing for portion
control.’’

Additionally, the producers agreed to improve nutritional information
on drinks packaging and increase the range of low-calorie drinks.

The decision came as the EU prepares new measures to fight a growing obesity       problem.

“The European non-alcoholic beverage industry is determined to play its
part,” said Dominique Reiniche, president of UNESDA and of the European
Union Group of the Coca-Cola Co.

EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou recently warned that obesity
had become one of the leading causes of avoidable death in Europe with
more than 400,000 children estimated to become overweight every year.

He recommended that the food industry regulate itself by cutting back on advertising to children. o