Enhanced 2014 commitments


On 24 November 2014, EU Pledge member companies announced plans to extend the scope of the EU Pledge commitment to cover a number of additional media and to address the content of their marketing communications by the end of 2016. 
The adopted wording is:


  • Extension of scope: the EU Pledge currently covers commercial communications on TV, print, third-party internet and company-owned websites. From 31 December 2016, EU Pledge member companies will also apply this commitment to radio, cinema, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, outdoor marketing, mobile and SMS marketing.
  • Addressing creative execution: The new policy will ensure that where no reliable audience measurement data is available, advertisers consider not only the placement, but also the overall impression of the marketing communication, to ensure that if the product in question does not meet the common nutrition criteria, the communication is not designed to appeal primarily to children

Enhanced commitment:

EU Pledge members commit either to: 

  • Only advertise products to children under the age of 12 years that meet the common EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria[1]; or
  • Not to advertise their products at all to children under the age of 12 years. 

The above policy covers marketing communications[2] for food and beverage products that are primarily directed to children under 12[3] in covered media[4]
In addition, EU Pledge members agree not to engage in food or beverage product marketing communications to children in primary schools[5]
EU Pledge members will publish yearly reports to demonstrate compliance with this policy. 
This policy will become applicable to all EU Pledge member companies across the European Union by 31 December 2016. Individual member companies may maintain or adopt specific policies that go beyond the EU Pledge commitment. 


[1] From the end of 2014, common EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria will apply to those member companies that use nutrition criteria. Those companies that do not currently advertise any of their products to children will continue to apply that policy.
[2] “Marketing communications” means paid advertising or commercial sales messages for food and beverage products, including marketing communications that use licensed characters, celebrities and movie tie-ins primarily appealing to children under 12. Company-owned, brand equity characters are not covered by the policy 
[3] Primarily directed to children under 12 means advertising in measured media where 35% or more of the audience is under 12 years of age.  Where adequate data are unavailable, companies will consider other factors as appropriate, which may include the overall impression of the advertising, actions taken to restrict child access and the target demographic based on the company’s media plan.
[4] Covered media means the following vehicles: TV, radio, print, cinema, online (including company-owned websites and company-owned social media profiles), DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, outdoor marketing, mobile and SMS marketing. Packaging, in-store and point of sale as well as forms of marketing communications which are not under the direct control of the brand owner, such as user-generated content, are not covered by this policy.
[5] Menus or displays for food and beverage products offered for sale, charitable donations or fundraising activities, public service messages, government subsidised/endorsed schemes, such as the EU School Milk Programme, and items provided to school administrators for education purposes or for their personal use are not covered.  EU Pledge members commit to developing and publishing specific guidelines on permissible activities in schools which are undertaken as part of companies’ corporate social responsibility programmes.