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ASC Releases Report on Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising

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  • Advertising Standards Canada  today released its seventh annual Canadian Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative: 2023 Compliance Report. The Report confirms the continuing high level of compliance by the 18 companies participating in the CAI in meeting their program commitments from January 1 – December 31, 2023. As Canada’s national, independent advertising industry self-regulatory body, ASC serves as the Canadian Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative’s (CAI) program administrator.

    The participants reviewed in the Report are: Campbell Company of Canada; Coca-Cola Ltd.; Danone Inc.; Ferrero Canada Ltd.; General Mills Canada Corporation; Hershey Canada Inc.; Kellogg Canada Inc.; Kraft Canada Inc.; Mars Canada Inc.; McCain Foods (Canada); McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited; Mondelz Canada; Nestlé Canada Inc.; Parmalat Canada; PepsiCo Canada ULC; Post Foods Canada Inc., Unilever Canada Inc. and Weston Bakeries Limited.

    “Participant compliance continues to be excellent, underscoring these leading companies’ commitments to the CAI program and to responsible advertising self-regulation,” commented Linda Nagel, President & CEO, Advertising Standards Canada. “And the new nutrition criteria, which shortly will be fully implemented, demonstrate continuing program momentum and progress.”

    The CAI is a living program that has evolved significantly since its inception. Participants continue to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to supporting healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles for children under 12 through program enhancements. Most recently, the adoption of new, more stringent category specific uniform nutrition criteria for advertising to children under 12 significantly raises the bar for products included in the program. Announced in 2023, the uniform nutrition criteria set calorie maximums for products within eight categories; establish limits on fat, sodium and sugar; and include criteria for nutrients to encourage, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. All products advertised to children must either meet these criteria by December 31, 2023, or can no longer be advertised to children. The complete 2023 report is available at: www.adstandards.com/childrensinitiative.

    The CAI was launched by Canada’s food and beverage industry in April 2023. It was developed to shift the landscape of child-directed advertising1 to the promotion of better-for-you products. The CAI complements the existing rigorous Canadian framework for regulating advertising to children. Under the CAI, leading Canadian food and beverage advertisers have committed to either not direct advertising primarily to children under the age of 12, or to shift their advertising to products that are consistent with the principles of sound nutrition guidance, such as Canada’s Food Guide. The program covers food and beverage advertising directed to children across traditional and new media including television, radio, print, Internet, DVDs of G-rated movies, video and computer games, and mobile.

    1Child-directed advertising is advertising primarily directed to children under 12 years of age

    SOURCE Advertising Standards Canada