About the Initiative
The Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (Children's Advertising Initiative) is a voluntary initiative by leading Canadian food and beverage companies (Participants). In April 2007, Participants announced their collaborative commitment to use their creativity and marketing activities to promote and support healthy dietary choices and healthy lifestyles to children under 12 years of age.
Through the Children's Advertising Initiative, Participants are shifting their advertising and marketing emphasis to foods and beverages that are consistent with the principles of sound nutrition guidance, including those that are lower in total calories, fats, salts and added sugars, and higher in nutrients that are significant to public health.
To ensure that this program is both transparent and accountable, Participants asked Ad Standards, the industry's independent self-regulatory body, to administer the Children's Advertising Initiative.
Under the Children's Advertising Initiative, Participants have committed to:
- devote 100 per cent of their television, radio, print and Internet advertising directed primarily to children under 12 years of age to promote products that represent healthy dietary choices, or not direct advertising primarily to children under 12,
- incorporate only products that represent healthy dietary choices or include healthy lifestyle messages in interactive games primarily directed to children under 12 years of age,
- reduce the use of third party licensed characters in advertising directed primarily to children under 12 that does not meet the Children's Advertising Initiative criteria for healthy dietary products or healthy lifestyle messaging,
- not pay for or actively seek to place food and beverage products in program/editorial content of any medium primarily directed to children, and
- not advertise food or beverage products in elementary schools - pre-kindergarten through Grade 6.
This principle also applies to advertising primarily directed to children on:
- company-owned websites or micro-sites primarily directed to children under 12 years of age
- video and computer games rated "Early Childhood" or "EC," which are inherently primarily directed to children under 12, and other games that are age-graded on the label and packaging as being primarily directed to children under 12
- DVDs of movies that are rated "G" whose content is primarily directed to children under 12, and other DVDs whose content is primarily directed to children under 12
- mobile media such as cell phones, PDAs and through word of mouth where advertising on those media is primarily directed to children under 12.
Under the terms of the Children's Advertising Initiative each Participant developed an individual Commitment outlining how it will meet the Initiative's core principles.
As the Children's Advertising Initiative administrator, Ad Standards:
- approves each Participant's Commitment
- publishes the Commitments on a dedicated section of Ad Standards' website
- conducts an annual audit of each Participant's compliance with its Commitment
- reports publicly on the results of the audits
- responds to public inquires about the Children's Advertising Initiative
- Campbell Company of Canada
- Coca-Cola Ltd.
- Danone Inc.
- Ferrero Canada Ltd.
- General Mills Canada Corporation
- Hershey Canada Inc.
- Kellogg Canada Inc.
- Kraft Heinz Canada
- Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
- Mars Canada Inc.
- McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd.
- Mondelēz Canada
- Nestlé Canada Inc.
- PepsiCo Canada ULC
- Unilever Canada Inc.
To view the Participants' Commitments, click here.