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Unilever : announces new global principles for food marketing to children








Unilever announces new global principles for food marketing to children

Published: 21/04/2022

Average read time: 2 minutes

Unilever today announced an update to its global principles for responsible marketing to children, raising standards for an increasingly digital world.

Unilever will stop marketing food and beverages to children under the age of 16 years old, across both traditional media and social media. Currently, in most countries in the world, the food and beverage industry restricts marketing to children under 13 years old.

Unilever’s enhanced principles, which are industry-leading, include:

  • Not targeting children under 16 years old with any marketing or social media communications.
  • Not collecting or storing data on children under 16.
  • Not using influencers, celebrities or social media stars who are under the age of 16 or primarily appeal to children under the age of 16.
  • Providing clear and prominent disclosure of provisions to influencers and limiting child appeal to influencer content.
  • Continuing to refrain from promoting our brands or products in schools, with the exception of participation in educational campaigns, when specifically requested.

The principles will apply across Unilever’s food and refreshment portfolio, which includes ice cream. The deadline for brands to comply with these further enhanced principles is January 2023.

Matt Close, President Ice Cream, Unilever said: “Recognising the power that social media and influencer marketing can have on children’s choices, we believe it’s important to raise the bar on responsible marketing to a minimum age of 16 years old across both traditional and social media.

By making these changes, our goal is to continue to reduce children’s exposure to advertising from the food and beverage industry, and instead support parents to select appropriate treats, to be enjoyed from time to time.”

In 2003, Unilever was one of the first companies to apply specific measures for the marketing of its food and refreshment products to children, and the company has continued to lead in adopting new and improved principles. The last major update was in 2020, when Unilever announced it will stop marketing and advertising foods and refreshments to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and under the age of 13 via social media channels.

Unilever’s marketing and point of sale communications comply with all relevant country laws and regulations, as well as self-regulatory codes. In some countries, including for example the UK and Portugal, existing codes and laws mean that these new principles are already either partially met,fully met or exceeded.


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Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.

This document may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘will’, ‘aim’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘looks’, ‘believes’, ‘vision’, or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements also include, but are not limited to, statements and information regarding the Unilever Group’s (the ‘Group’) emissions reduction targets and other climate change related matters (including actions, potential impacts and risks associated therewith). These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance or outcomes.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever’s global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever’s ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever’s investment choices in its portfolio management; the effect of climate change on Unilever’s business; Unilever’s ability to find sustainable solutions to its plastic packaging; significant changes or deterioration in customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain and distribution; increases or volatility in the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic, social and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. A number of these risks have increased as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic.

These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group’s filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2021.

Disclaimer

Unilever plc published this content on 21 April 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 21 April 2022 08:24:04 UTC.

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