Commitment 3:Responsible Marketing & Advertising to Children
A great deal of political attention at international, regional and national levels has been focused on the question of marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children. The food and beverage industry…is making significant progress in both expanding and strengthening advertising self-regulatory processes globally…we recognize that, where it is not already the case, we should apply our individual marketing and advertising commitments on a global basis.
-- IFBA letter to WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan 13 May, 2008
In the 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the WHO called on industry to practice responsible marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars or salt – especially to children.
In May 2007, the World Health Assembly advanced that call with the adoption of Resolution WHA60.23, requesting that the Director-General develop recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children. As part of this process WHO solicited and analyzed external input, holding dialogue meetings with relevant stakeholders, including representatives of international NGOs and IFBA. WHO also appointed an Ad-Hoc Expert Group, whose findings were used by the WHO to prepare a working paper on policy objectives, options, and evaluation mechanisms, which WHO Regional offices, Member States, NGOs and the food and beverage industry were asked to comment on during July, August and the beginning of September 2009.
During the fall of 2009, the WHO Secretariat developed a draft set of recommendations on the marketing and advertising of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, which were presented to the WHO Executive Board in January 2010. The Executive Board passed the set of recommendations forward for consideration to the 63rd World Health Assembly.
In May 2010 at the 63rd World Health Assembly, Member States approved the WHO Secretariat Report and the Recommendations on the Marketing of foods and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children (the Recommendations) (A63/12). Member States also approved a Norwegian-led resolution on marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children, which “endorses” the WHO’s Recommendations, recognizes the role to date of the private sector and urges Member States “to take necessary steps to implement the recommendations.” It also asks the WHO Director-General to assist Member States, on request, to implement the recommendations and to monitor and evaluate the results. The WHO is scheduled to report back in May 2012 to the 65th World Health Assembly.
In September 2011, at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Member States unanimously adopted a Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, which included, among other recommendations, a recommendation that Member States “should reduce the impact of the marketing of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children” by means of the WHO 2010 Set of Recommendations on the Marketing of Foods and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children. The Political Declaration also calls on WHO to develop a comprehensive global monitoring framework and recommendations for a set of voluntary global targets for the prevention and control of NCDs by the end of 2012.
IFBA Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children. IFBA companies have agreed to reduce the exposure of children to marketing communications for products high in fat, sugar and salt, in every country where they operate around the world.
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