Marketing Brands Responsibly – Doing Our Part | Mars, Incorporated
Marketing Responsibly

MARKETING OUR BRANDS RESPONSIBLY

DEMONSTRATING RESPECT FOR OUR CONSUMERS

As manufacturers of some of the world’s best-loved chocolate, confectionery, chewing gum and food brands, we recognize our huge responsibility and we’re privileged to play a part in your everyday lives. To respect you and your family, we promise to market only in appropriate ways, especially when it comes to reaching your children on new, emerging digital channels.

OUR MARKETING CODE

Everything begins with trust. That’s why we have a comprehensive global Marketing Code that guides all of our marketing activities. It sets strict guidelines for the way we advertise food, chocolate, confections and gum products across all our markets, so you know just what you’re getting when you enjoy our products and services.

In several countries, a third party conducts annual compliance audits of our Marketing Code. We also are a part of an industry coalition, the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), which commits member companies to upholding shared marketing standards.

We make sure all of our Marketing organization all around the world is held to the standard of our Marketing Code. As just one example, Mars Chocolate appointed a network of global Responsible Marketing Ambassadors — this group has clear objectives and local plans for their regions, such as making sure our Associates are getting the right training and that all Mars Chocolate websites are fully in line with our Marketing Code.

Any Associate, anywhere, can challenge a marketing plan before launch. Whenever these challenges happen, we pay close attention and eventually use them as case studies in our Marketing Code training, so Associates can learn to deal with challenging, real-life scenarios. We have also adopted regional governance processes, such as our Marketing Advisory Group (MAG) in the U.K. and Review Board in the U.S.

NO MARKETING TO CHILDREN

We want kids to be kids. One of the most important aspects of the Mars Marketing Code is our commitment to never directly advertise to children younger than 12 years of age. In 2007, we were the first food company to announce a global commitment to stop advertising food, snack and confectionery products to children younger than 12.

The way we do it is simple — if more than a quarter of an audience is likely to be under 12, we don’t buy advertising time. And if a website is aimed at children younger than 13 years old, we stay clear. Visitors to most of our web pages must enter their birthdate before downloading branded wallpapers or screensavers or playing or reading on the website. Our advertisements and promotions never depict unaccompanied children 12 years or younger eating snack foods, and we never use them as spokespeople for our brands.

Though we stick with some old favorites, such as the M&M’S® Characters, we’ve decided to never create new characters that appeal especially to children for our chocolate, gum and confections brands. The actions and speech of the M&M’S® Characters are intended for an audience older than 12 years of age, and we continue to emphasize their mature personalities and adult characteristics.

We also believe in keeping snack-filled vending machines away from primary schools and do not sponsor sporting events. If the primary schools request our participation, we ensure all activity is non-branded or limited to educational or public service messaging programs for responsible gum disposal and oral health care only.


With such a large reach and impact on consumers, we believe it is our duty to market in appropriate, and responsible ways.