Advertising Standards Canada releases First Compliance Report on Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
Food and Beverage Companies exceed original requirements
TORONTO - Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) today
released its first annual Compliance Report on the Canadian Children's Food
and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI). The report details the progress
made by leading food and beverage companies participating in this program to
change the landscape of children's food and beverage advertising. The
Compliance Report covers 2008 - the inaugural year of the program - and
concludes that all of the participating companies fulfilled their program
commitments. Only two minor compliance issues were uncovered by ASC. These
were inadvertent, and were immediately corrected by the involved Participants.
"Because participation in the CAI is voluntary, we expected a high degree
of compliance. This first Report demonstrates that the participating companies
successfully met the commitments they set for themselves - even exceeding the
original program requirements," noted Linda Nagel, President and CEO of ASC.
"These were significant achievements, and we congratulate these companies for
making this initiative a high corporate priority."
Of the 16 participating companies, eight did not direct any advertising
to children under 12 years of age. The remaining eight all exceeded the CAI's
baseline requirement by committing that 100% of their advertising directed to
children under 12 would be for products that met the CAI's nutrition
standards, rather than the minimum 50% required for participation. As well,
while the CAI required that products meet at least one of the CAI's nutrition
standards, all advertised products met at least two.
The Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI)
Under the CAI 18 of Canada's leading food and beverage advertisers
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
principles of sound nutrition guidance.
This Compliance Report evaluates the individual Commitments made by the
16 companies that signed on to the initiative when it was originally announced
in 2007. The Participants reviewed in the Report are: Cadbury Adams Canada
Inc.; Campbell Company of Canada; Coca-Cola Ltd.; General Mills Canada
Corporation; Hershey Canada Inc.; Janes Family Foods Ltd.; Kellogg Canada
Inc.; Kraft Canada Inc.; Mars Canada Inc.; McCain Foods (Canada); McDonald's
Restaurants of Canada Limited; Nestlé Canada Inc.; Parmalat Canada; PepsiCo
Canada ULC; Unilever Canada Inc. and Weston Bakeries Limited.
Two additional companies, Burger King Restaurants of Canada, Inc. and
Ferrero Canada Ltd., joined the program subsequent to the 2007 announcement,
bringing the current complement to 18.
Transparency and public accountability are key components of the CAI. As
program administrator, ASC provides independent oversight to the CAI by:
- approving and publishing the Participants' Commitments;
- auditing Participants' compliance; and
- issuing annual compliance reports