European children exposed to less food advertising on TV


According to new research, European children are exposed to less food marketing on TV today than ten years ago.

Independent data from Accenture Media Management shows that the world’s biggest food brands have significantly changed the way they advertise products to children on TV since 2005 in the EU.

According to the data, many brands have either voluntarily pulled food advertisements or are only advertising products that meet strict nutrition criteria during children’s programming. This means that children today are being exposed to considerably less publicity for all food products across all TV programming, the researchers found.

On average, children across the EU today are exposed to 31% fewer advertisements for EU pledge products on TV across all programming. They see 47% fewer ads for products that do not meet the nutrition criteria and 82% fewer for products not meeting the criteria in and around children’s programmes.

Under an EU pledge, 20 companies which represent over 80% of food publicity spending in the EU have committed to change the products they advertise to children under the age of twelve.

The EU pledge was facilitated and endorsed by the World Federation of Advertisers and is a joint industry commitment to the "EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health," which was set up by the European Commission in 2005.

The commitments also extend to schools, children’s print publications, online advertising and company-owned websites.

For company-owned websites, the European Advertising Standards Alliance verified 343 websites across the EU to check whether companies were directly targeting children under 12 with products not meeting the nutrition criteria and found 22 websites to be in breach.

External links: 

European Commission




Elena Paravantes-Hargitt's picture

As a nutritionist and a mother, I would have to say that the experience here in Greece appears to be getting worse in terms of advertising and promotion of food products to children. Smaller Greek companies do in fact advertise quite often if not all the time during children's television shows. In addition, these smaller Greek companies (and some larger multinational companies as well) act as sponsors for various event aimed at children, providing candy and chocolate to the children as gifts. Unfortunately self-regulation has not proven to be effective, particularly with smaller companies.