Unilever Gets 5 Stars

The Lempert Report
March 26, 2020

PREVIOUSLY RECORDED CPG companies have a responsibility to our shoppers and our nation; and Unilever is stepping up and deserves kudos.

The company is updating its principles for marketing food and beverages to children, including a change that will no longer target ads to children under 12, amid widespread concerns about childhood obesity.

For television and other measurable media, it will not run ads where children aged under 12 represent over 25% of the audience

Unilever whose portfolio includes such kid friendly brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Klondike, said the change will apply to all food and beverage products, and goes further to define its marketing communications as TV and radio ads, digital activity, social media and digital ads, apps, PR materials, online games and other communication including product placements.  

In its blog post, Unilever said a key reason for the new principles is the fact that the World Health Organization calls childhood obesity one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century.

“It’s a move designed to help parents, caregivers and kids make informed choices about the food and drinks they buy, and to address the rise of social media, and the vast increase in products on sale,” the post wrote.

Unilever will also change its influencer policy, not using influencers under the age of 12, nor influencers who primarily appeal to children under 12. 

The company says it will only show kids under 12 in its marketing communications if it’s for products that meet high nutritional standards or if it’s “relevant to the marketing message,” like a family activity, it said. “Parents or gatekeepers will always be portrayed in control of the access to a product,” the company writes in its policy.

Thank you Unilever for putting people and health about profits.