Advertising and obesity
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1.6 billion overweight adults globally. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is still increasing in developed and developing countries. The trend is particularly alarming in children and adolescents; 20 million children under the age of 5 are overweight. FrieslandCampina takes this very seriously and we have developed a new corporate standard on advertising in relation to obesity. This standard has been in effect since 1 January 2010.
What’s the problem?
Many young children, under the age of 6, have difficulty understanding that advertising is a tool used to sell products. It is not until around the age of 12 that most children are able to fully comprehend the purpose of advertising. If companies do not take a responsible approach to their marketing practices, it can lead to unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyles.
By developing and adhering to a corporate standard, we want to contribute to responsible marketing practices, especially those geared at children, in order to help them develop healthy eating patterns and to prevent overweight and obesity.
What do we do to reach this goal?
Preventing and combating overweight and obesity is a shared responsibility of consumers, governments, NGOs as well as food producers and food suppliers.
When it comes to advertising in relation to obesity, we comply with local legislation, agreed voluntary national advertising codes in the country of sale and our corporate standard. This means for instance in the Netherlands, that the voluntary code of the FNLI is also applicable, in addition to the rules of the FrieslandCampina standard.
The corporate standard
The scope of the corporate standard is all advertising and promotional actions worldwide for FrieslandCampina branded products. The corporate standard sets rules for advertising in general, advertising aimed at children in general, advertising aimed at children under the age of 12 in the European Union (EU) and school (milk) programmes. Our goals :
- to make sure we don’t mislead the consumer or undermine a healthy diet or lifestyle
- don’t abuse the confidence of children
- protect children (in and outside the school environment)
- stimulate healthy eating patterns and lifestyles.
These are comparable to the rules used by other leading food companies.
Not only obesity
While obesity is a big problem in one part of the world, starvation is a huge issue in others. Therefore FrieslandCampina works towards better future prospects for people in all parts of the world. That is why one of our main CSR focuses is Dairy Farming Development in Asia and Africa.