The EU Pledge is a voluntary initiative by 21 leading food and beverage companies to change the way they advertise to children under 12. This is a response from industry leaders to calls made by the EU institutions for the food industry to use commercial communications to support parents in making the right diet and lifestyle choices for their children.

The EU Pledge, endorsed and supported by the World Federation of Advertisers, is a commitment to the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, which is of the main tools of the Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related health issues.

From 1 January 2017, EU Pledge members committed either to:
  • Only advertise products to children under the age of 12 years that meet the common EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria; or
  • Not to advertise their products at all to children under the age of 12 years.
 
The commitments cover marketing communications for food and beverage products that are primarily directed to children under 12 on TV, radio, print, cinema, online, DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, outdoor marketing, mobile and SMS marketing. In addition, EU Pledge members agreed not to engage in food or beverage product marketing communications to children in primary schools.To facilitate the EU Pledge initiative, the European Advertising Standards Alliance has established an EU Pledge Accountability Mechanism. 
 

Relevant complaints are assessed by a pool of nine experts coming from the advertising standards organisation of Bulgaria (NCSR), France (ARPP), Germany (DWR), Hungary (ÖRT), Ireland (ASAI), Spain (AUTOCONTROL), Sweden (RO.), the Netherlands (SRC) and the UK (ASA/CAP) but appointed in their own name. The adjudication part of the system is administered by EASA which is also in charge of the annual monitoring of signatories’ digital marketing communications.

The adjudication part of the system is administered by EASA which is also in charge of the annual monitoring of signatories’ digital marketing communications.

All decisions and corrective actions will be publicly communicated on the EU Pledge website, as a means to increase transparency and accountability. If a signatory refuses to cooperate, sanctions such as ‘enhanced naming and shaming’ will be considered.

Lucas Boudet, Director General of EASA, said:  “The European Advertising Standards Alliance provides the EU Pledge with the expertise of its advertising self-regulatory network in handling consumer complaints. It thus builds on its long-standing collaboration with the EU Pledge and helps to bring it one step further. The independent monitoring of the EU Pledge Commitment by EASA is now completed with a full-fledged accountability mechanism.”

For more information, please visit the EU Pledge's website here

If you would like to submit a complaint, please see here