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Company changes ice cream advertising protocols


Unilever is changing how it markets ice cream to children.

By the end of 2020, the company will stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below 13 via social media channels.

“We’re implementing strict controls concerning the placement and content of our ads, and we won’t use any influencers, celebrities or social media stars who primarily appeal to children under the age of 12,” the company says in a statement.

Unilever has an office in Toronto and is one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, making and selling around 400 brands in more than 190 countries. Ice cream brands include Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers and Klondike.

The company states that the World Health Organization names childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century and it’s a key reason why it is committing to new principles on marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children.

“It’s a move designed to help parents, caregivers and kids make informed choices about the food and drinks they buy, and to address the rise of social media, and the vast increase in products on sale,” the company states.

Unilever will be limiting its use of cartoon characters on advertising. While there will still be some cartoon characters on the company’s point-of-sale materials, they will only be used for products with a specific nutritional profile.

The ice cream business will be leading the implementation of this approach with a promise to help parents and caregivers responsibly choose products for their children, the company states.



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