Unilever has announced to be discontinuing all marketing and advertising initiatives of its food and beverage brands which are primarily targeted to children.
The company will not market the products to children under the age of 12 across traditional media channels, and below the age of 13 on social media and digital media channels, and plans to take execute this decision by the end of 2020.
Any form of marketing and advertising will not be permitted to any brands owned by Unilever. They won’t have any celebrities, influencers or social media stars who have the power to influence children. As per Unilever’s blog post, a limitation will also be imposed on the use of cartoon characters too, though some characters will be featured across point-of-sale materials, like certain selected products that quality a specific nutritional profile.
Unilever’s decision came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced childhood obesity as a matter of concern and one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century. According to their blog post, Unilever wants to help parents and children make wise and informed decisions while buying and consuming food and beverages.
The implementation of this plan will be led by Unilever’s ice cream business as children are the main TG for ice creams. It’s expected that this decision will hit the business.
Unilever’s Wall’s – the name behind brands such as ‘Max’, ‘Paddle Pop’, ‘Twister’ along with others, will adopt a unique brand promise – “Responsibly made for kids” and will be based on principles of – responsibly communicated, responsibly developed and responsibly sold.
While these developments were announced, there has been no word from Hindustan Unilever (HUL). Industry people are of opinion that if it implies, it’s going to affect the media and advertising sectors as HUL is one of the biggest advertisers in the country.