Nestle junk food ad pledge approved

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Milk, Nestlé

Nestle has agreed to a raft of restrictions on the promotion of its products to children as it switches from advertising its “best-selling” Wonka candy to 100 percent juice and low-fat chocolate milk.

The restrictions are part of the companies pledge that all of its advertising directed at children will be for products that meet nutritional guidelines under the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.

Initially Nestle was one of the larger food companies which declined to join the scheme against junk food ads after it was launched in 2006.

However, it signed up this summer saying that it had waited because it wanted to make sure the pledge was in alignment with its new global guidelines on advertising to children before joining the scheme.

Now the details of Nestle’s pledge have been announced.

The BBB said that as it currently stands, Nestle will only advertise its Juicy Juice 100 percent juice; some varieties of its Nesquik ready-to-drink flavored milk and Nesquik chocolate flavored powder for milk; and its Push-Up frozen dairy desserts to children between the ages six and 12.

All of these will meet specific nutritional guidelines which state that chocolate powder flavoring for milk must be either 25 percent reduced in sugar, or contain no added sugars, and a frozen dairy dessert must be limited to no more than 100 calories.

Also, a juice product must be 100 percent fruit and/or vegetable juice and the serving size will be limited to no more than eight fluid ounces and no more than 170 calories.

And a ready-to-drink flavored milk is portion controlled at 100 calories and contains no added sugars.

In addition no advertising will target children under six regardless of the product’s nutritional profile.

Nestle’s pledge will be implemented during the first half of 2009 and the BBB said it was the fourth confectionary company in the initiative to stop advertising candy to this age group.

Elaine Kolish, director of the initiative, said: “Nestle has agreed to only advertise foods to children that meet nutritional guidelines, which means that one of their best selling brands, WONKA candies, will no longer be advertised to kids under 12 years old.”

Self regulation

Currently 15 food and beverage firms have joined the self-regulation scheme but the Center for Science in the Public Interest is encouraging Congress to take a fresh look at this voluntary initiative to see if it is “sufficient to protect children from obesity-promoting advertising”.

It argues that if it is to work, more major food marketers need to sign up.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Nestle

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