The new guidelines extend into the digital sphere the commitments made by the industry in January 2006 to not directly target children under the age of 12 in its advertising on TV, radio, in print or online and to not offer products for sale in primary schools across the EU.
The association says that new technologies and growing marketing experience in the area have now allowed the industry to define tangible and verifiable steps to ensure compliance and to meet UNESDA’s ultimate aim of ensuring control remains with parents and caregivers.
UNESDA’s new guidelines will ensure that internet sites, content and related technologies are designed for visitors over the age of 12. They will apply the minimum 50% over-12 audience threshold to all placements online and will only advertise on third party sites accordingly.
Members are also committed to using independently audited data to confirm that site traffic meets these criteria and will brief their agencies accordingly.
UNESDA president, Luis Bach, says: “These new guidelines recognize that digital communications on the internet play an increasingly important role in the marketing mix of our non-alcoholic beverage brands. These guidelines apply to all digital marketing communications media purchasing in Europe as well as to all brand and corporate sites.”
The new guidelines have been signed by seven UNESDA corporate members: The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Hellenic, The Gerber Emig Group Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline, Orangina Group and PepsiCo.
Stephen Loerke, managing director of the World Federation of Advertisers, says: “We welcome the UNESDA initiative. It recognises the importance of ensuring that self-regulation remains effective and relevant for digital marketing communications.”