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Officials at the signing ceremony

ABG, GCC Food & Beverage vow responsible marketing

UAE, July 8, 2018

The Advertising Business Group (ABG) and the GCC Food & Beverage (FBA) members have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and committed to working together towards making the “Responsible Marketing to Children” Pledge into an industry standard.

ABG is a leading advertising and marketing self-regulatory group in the region.

The pledge is a voluntary commitment to the way food and beverage (F&B) products are marketed to children under the age of 12 in the region. It is applicable to products containing saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugars and/or salt, said a statement from the organisation.

 The endorsement of the “Responsible Marketing to Children” Pledge by the ABG is the first step towards making this the standard across the advertising and marketing industry via self-regulation, and thus driving greater consumer confidence, it said.

Sanjiv Kakkar, ABG chairman and executive vice president Unilever – Middle East and North Africa (Mena), Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, added: “Advertising to children can be a very sensitive issue. Yet it can be valuable and meaningful as it can educate, excite, entertain, and inform them if done in a responsible manner.”

“As the region’s leading body advocating for responsible and ethical advertising, the ABG is delighted to endorse the pledge adopted by the GCC FBA members. We are committed to working with them to make this the industry standard via self-regulation,” he added.

The ABG aims to develop this commitment into an industry code for the region, and also promote its greater understanding across the marketing & advertising industry via trainings and online courses, it said.

This pledge was signed in 2009 by the leading food and beverage companies based in the GCC - Ferrero, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Mars, Mondelez MEA, Nestlé Middle East, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever and applies to marketing material across a number of channels including TV, print, owned/third-party websites, radio, cinema, interactive games, SMS and more.

The commitment also ensures that there is no communication related to F&B products in primary schools, except where specifically requested by the local administrational authorities for educational purposes, and only when the products showcased are compliant with the nutritional criteria. To ensure that strict standards are upheld, the companies have developed a set of regional nutrition criteria that are identical to those mentioned in the European Union pledge of the same nature.

Christine Greaves, corporate affairs director Mars Gulf, spokesperson for the GCC FBA, said: “As a leading food and beverage organisations in the region it is critical to us that our marketing and promotional efforts are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.”

“This pledge reflects that commitment and ensures that young people are able to make informed decisions about the food and beverages they consume,” Greaves said.

The GCC FBA pledge is audited by an independent 3rd party with compliance at 99.9 per cent and yearly reports published to demonstrate compliance, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: | Marketing | ABG | vow | responsible |

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