Release of the Accenture 2013 Compliance Monitoring Report on Global Advertising of Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages in Child-directed Media by Members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance

In March 2014, Accenture Media Management (Accenture) released the 2013 Compliance Monitoring Report on Global Advertising on Television, Print and Internet of food and non‐alcoholic beverages in child‐directed media by member companies of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA).

We are pleased to advise that Accenture, a leading global provider of media auditing services, has reported that, in this fifth year of compliance monitoring, IFBA members continued to demonstrate a high rate of compliance consistent with previous years’ results – 96.9% for television advertising and 100% for print and internet advertising in child‐directed media.

Since 2009, the television advertising compliance rate has been above 86% in every market analyzed. The print and internet advertising compliance rate was at 100% in all five years.

For the 2013 monitoring exercise, Accenture analyzed more than half a million television advertisements on more than 200 channels over a three‐month period in seven markets – China (Shanghai), Colombia, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Thailand. Accenture also examined print and internet advertisements in five markets – Brazil, China, Russia, Singapore and South Africa. To ensure transparency and credibility, all the media research data analyzed by Accenture was gained from sources independent of IFBA companies and their associated media agencies. Accenture also chose the period to be monitored after the advertising space had already been purchased by the companies.

About the IFBA Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children

IFBA’s global policy is in line with the aims of the 2010 WHO Set of Recommendations on the Marketing of Foods and Non‐alcoholic Beverages to Children and designed to change how and what we advertise to children – restricting the marketing of foods high in fat, sugar and salt and promoting balanced diets and healthy, active lifestyles.

The global policy sets out the criteria required for advertising and marketing communications that are paid for, or controlled by, IFBA companies in every country where they market their products. Members commit either to only advertise “better‐for‐you” products i.e. foods and non‐alcoholic beverages that meet specific nutrition criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines, or not to advertise at all to children under 12 years.

The voluntary actions by IFBA companies on marketing to children have been welcomed by regulators in Europe and the U.S.A. as effective in improving the nutrition of foods marketed to children.

Impact monitoring data from Canada, the EU and the U.S.A. also demonstrates a major reduction in the exposure of children to marketing communications for products high in fat, sugar and salt and a shift in emphasis to the marketing of more nutritious choices:

  • In Canada, a spot check by Advertising Standards Canada of children’s television advertising in 2012 by signatories to the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI) revealed that by far the majority of advertising directed to children was for toys, games, DVDs, in‐theatre movies and attractions and food and beverage commercials accounted for only 20% of the total number of commercials aired during the survey period, down from 25% in 2011; and 86% of advertisements were for “better‐for‐you” products; the balance, 14%, was advertising by non‐signatories that would not meet CAI nutrition criteria;
  • In 2013, the Council of Better Business Bureaus in the U.S.A. analyzed television ads aired in 27.5 hours of children’s programming, a repeat of analysis conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Of the 966 ads analyzed, 24% were for food and beverages. The review also found that 75% of the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative participants’ ads contained a food group or ingredient to encourage ‐ fruit, vegetables, whole grains or non/low dairy – representing a 56% increase compared to the 2010 analysis. 83% of the ads were for foods containing fruit, vegetables, non/low‐fat dairy, whole grains, or at least a “good” source of what the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans call “nutrients of concern” because they are not consumed in sufficient amounts (calcium fiber, potassium and vitamin D) – confirming an upward trend based on past analyses.