In Belgium, members of the Belgian food and drink federation (FEVIA) are encouraged to follow the self-regulatory code for advertising to regulate food product marketing practice that was implemented in 2005. The Code applies to all advertising for food and drink in Belgium, with a specific section dedicated to marketing and advertising to children.
The correct application of this code is controlled by the Jury for Ethical Practice in Advertising (JEP), the auto-disciplinary section of the advertising sector in Belgium, which is composed of advertisers, marketing bureaus, media and consumers.
Each year, the JEP publishes an evaluation report on its website. Year after year, the evaluation for the food industry is positive, illustrating the effectiveness of this voluntary initiative.
The Belgian Pledge ha been evaluated in 2016. The compliance rate of TV advertising was 100%.
In June 2017, the scope of the Belgian Pledge was extended to radio, cinema, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, outdoor marketing, mobile en SMS marketing. Also company social media profiles are now in scope.
55 companies (including 14 members of COMEOS – retail) signed the Belgian Pledge 2.0 in 2017.
In 2018 the number of complaints was lower compared to 2017. The number of requests for advice increased from 9 to 13. Additionally, in 2018 Fevia organised a workshop on the interpretation of the Belgian Pledge rules for all members of Fevia and a monitoring activity on online media content was launched.