This category assesses the scope and strength of companies' corporate marketing policies, specifically how they align to best-practice marketing guidance and standards, and their systems for auditing compliance with their policies. It comprises of an assessment of corporate marketing with respect to two audiences: One focuses on general aspects of responsible marketing that apply to all consumers regardless of age: The second focuses on responsible marketing to children only. The category therefore consists of two sets of criteria:
D1 Responsible marketing policy
D2 Auditing and compliance with policy
D3 Spending: Advertising focus (unscored)
D4 Responsible marketing policy
D5 Auditing and compliance with policy
D6 Spending: Advertising focus and policy impact (unscored)
Eight of the ten companies publish a policy on responsible marketing to all consumers or pledge to support the Consolidated International Chambers of Commerce Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (ICC Code). Three of these eight demonstrate industry best practice by making additional commitments in their policies that go beyond the ICC Code.
However, none of the companies commit to developing and delivering marketing strategies for their healthy products to priority populations in the United States. All companies should commit to designing such strategies.
Mars is the only company that has commissioned an independent, third-party audit of its compliance with its marketing policies in relation to children and all consumers. All companies should adopt this approach.
Given the high numbers of children in the United States who are obese or overweight, it is critical that all food and beverage manufacturers substantially strengthen their commitments on responsible marketing to children and that CFBAI and CARU revise their standards to plug the gaps that currently exist. Companies and these initiatives need to ensure that their commitments are comprehensive, as specified in the ATNI methodology, and explicitly cover all relevant media, including traditional and digital media.
Companies – and CFBAI – need to focus particularly on reducing their marketing in and near schools. General Mills and Kraft Heinz are the only companies who currently commit not to market in K-12 schools. All companies should commit to not market any products in or near elementary, middle and high schools. They should also extend the commitment to other places popular with children, such as YWCA-YMCAs, after-school clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. In addition, companies should explicitly list the types of marketing that are covered by their commitments (e.g. through vending machines, educational materials, etc.).
The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.
Access to Nutrition Foundation
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