Unilever's Responsible Marketing and Advertising Principles

Published: 03/06/2020

In 2020, Unilever unveiled their updated principles for responsible food & beverage marketing to children with a new thinking when it comes to where, what and how Unilever communicates to parents & children.

Unilever’s principles apply to all food and beverages products, and the implementation will be led by Unilever’s ice cream business, with Wall’s being the first global ice cream brand to carry the ‘Responsibly made for kids’ promise. This promise is based on three pillars, designed to help parents and caregivers when choosing products for their children: Responsibly Developed, Responsibly Communicated and Responsibly Sold.

Highlights of the new principles:

  • Unilever will not direct any Marketing Communications to children aged under 12 (or under 13 for social media), through strict controls concerning both the content and placement. This includes a decrease in audience representation from 35% to 25%.
  • Unilever will not use influencers, such as celebrities and social media stars, who are under the age of 12, and won’t use influencers who primarily appeal to children under 12.
  • Unilever will limit the use of (licensed) cartoon characters and of brand-equity characters in Point of Sale Communications and will only use them in association with products that meet Unilever’s self-imposed Highest Nutritional Criteria.
  • Wall’s kids ice creams will have a maximum of 12 grams of sugar per serving; this is in addition to a maximum of 110 calories per portion.

In 2003, Unilever was one of the first companies to apply specific measures for the marketing of its food and beverage products and the company has continued to lead the adoption of evolved principles since then. Deadline for compliance with these revised principles is end of 2020.

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