F&B industry officially launches Malaysian Advertising Pledge for children under 12


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On 5 August, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Food Manufacturing Group (FMM MAFMAG) launched the “Responsible Advertising to Children Pledge”, as part of the long-standing commitment by the food and beverage industry to promote healthy, active lifestyle and balanced choices.

As of 1 January 2014, the ten signatories - Coca-Cola, F&N Beverages, F&N Dairies, Guan Chong Cocoa Manufacturer, Mars Malaysia, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever – commit not to advertise to children below the age of 12 on television, radio and print unless their products fulfil agreed nutrition criteria based on scientific evidence or international dietary guidelines. On television, an audience threshold of 35% or more of children under 12 years old will apply. Signatories also commit not to advertise their products in primary schools, except where specifically requested by or agreed with the school administration for educational purposes.

The Pledge was launched during an event attended by Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam. FMM MAFMAG has been working in close collaboration with the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) since January 2012 to develop this initiative as part of the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). MOH officially endorsed the proposal for a self-regulatory mechanism on Responsible Advertising to Children on 12 December 2012.

During the launch, Malaysian Advertisers Associate (MAA) President Khoo Kar Koon said: “This Pledge is an important step for the leading food and beverage advertisers in Malaysia. It will provide companies with a clear set of standards and will allow them to collectively monitor and verify the implementation of the commitments they have made.”

Next steps: Signatories will publish their individual commitments by 1 January 2014. Regular independent monitoring will be carried out to demonstrate compliance. FMM MAFMAG will reach out to more companies, including local SMEs, to encourage them to participate in this initiative.

Source: Food Industry Asia (FIA)

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