Change4Life kitemark plans resurrected

Plans to award brands offering healthy products and services a Change4Life kitemark have been resurrected.

Brands could be awarded a Change4Life kitemark for offering healthy products following news the Government is resurrecting the scheme.

Public Health England, the executive body of the Department of Health now responsible for managing the £55m marketing budget, says in a document outlining strategy for the financial year ahead, it is to “explore the potential” for the anti-obesity’s initiatives logo to appear on “products or services that promote healthy lifestyles”.

If launched, brands like Kellogg and Nestle could carry the logo on their healthier variants.

Plans to allow brands to include Change4Life images on-packs were shelved in 2010 after the Department of Health expressed concern the public might view their inclusion as an endorsement of a brand.

However, brand partnerships and the private sector’s involvement in campaigns has grown both to share the cost of activity and force companies to take their fair share of responsibility for public health.

Change4Life is now about 70 per cent funded by partners, according to the strategy document, from almost nothing when launched in 2009. Recent Change4Life activity has included ads from the likes of Asda, Quorn, Uncle Ben’s, the Co-Operative Food and Cravendale carrying Change4Life’s “Be Food Smart” sub-brand.

Meanwhile, Public Health England says it will pilot use of Sky’s AdSmart, the internet-style ad product that offers brands the chance to target specific audiences during live TV ad breaks, later this year.

It is one of several measures planned to improve the cost efficiency and targeting of activity. A new quantitative model that PHE says will “assign investment based on the evidence for impact on on public health outcomes” is promised.

In a further bid to save money, spend on traditional media channels to promote youth orientated issues, for example to raise awareness of sexual health risks, will be cut.

To offset reduced spending, PHE is to involve more “youth brands” the chance to fund and develop campaigns.

Elsewhere, the executive body is to develop a “movement for the healthy” with media owners and private sector partners. Talks between the Cabinet Office and businesses will take place later this year about ways to better work together including the possibility of co-creating campaigns.

It is not known how this such a movement will impact Government’s Responsibility Deal with Government, which has seen several pledges made by food and drinks brands on calorie reduction and providing health information.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, says in the document: “Marketing has a proven role to play as one of many policy levers in supporting people to improve their health. Of course marketing is not a panacea, but it is an approach to delivering behaviour change that has some unique advantages, such as speed, scale and low cost-per-head impact, hence its inclusion in NICE and Centre of Disease Control guidance.

“In addition, new scientific insights about behaviour change and the transforming media landscape offer scope to deliver programmes of unprecedented depth and quality in ways that were simply not possible even a few years ago.”

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