Food and drink giants commit to new responsible ad policy

New SMS advertising restrictions are set to come in to force, following a move by food and drink industry giants.

An alliance of global food and drink companies, including Coca-Cola, Nestle and Mars, has expanded its voluntary restrictions to create a new policy for responsible advertising to children.

This commitment by members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) will cover all media including for the first time SMS, radio and cinema advertising. Currently there is no prohibition on these types of advertising in the UK, reports, according to the Committee of Advertising’s broadcast/non-broadcast codes.

Ian Barber, communications director at the Advertising Association, says: “UK standards are typically at the cutting edge, so the reality will be little or no change for marketers as a result of this global announcement. It is yet more evidence, however, that responsible marketing to children is at the top of advertising’s agenda.”

The IFBA was formed in 2008 to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to helping the World Health Organisation realise its health and well-being strategy. Other companies that have agreed to the commitments include Ferrero, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo and Unilever, reports

The new standards will come into force by the end of 2016 and all 11 IFBA members will adopt them as minimum standards. The alliance accounts for the majority of the multi-billion spend on food and drink advertising, and acts as important role model for the rest of the industry.