With many well-known brands loved worldwide, we take responsible marketing seriously. As well as endorsing and abiding by the provisions contained in the International Chamber of Commerce Framework for Responsible Food and Beverage Marketing Communications, Mars was one of the first companies to launch our own Responsible Marketing Code in 2007.
The Mars Global Marketing Code for Human Food provides clear information and promotes appropriate use of our products and services. The Code applies to our marketing communications for all food, chocolate, confections, and gum products produced and licensed by Mars on a worldwide basis on all of our channels — from advertising to packaging and websites.
The heart of our Code outlines a commitment not to market to children younger than 12 years old (younger than 13 for digital communications) because, based on the scientific evidence, we believe they cannot identify and understand the persuasive intent of advertising.1 Instead, we equip gatekeepers, such as parents, with the information they need to decide what is right for their child's diet.
The Code also defines for consumers our commitments to promote our brands responsibly, as our marketing will not undermine — and where appropriate, will encourage — the pursuit of healthy, balanced diets and active lifestyles.
For some emerging topics, for example influencer marketing, we bring our code to life through specific guidelines for our marketers.
Compliance with our Code is critical and we have set goals to remain more than 95% compliant with media content standards, and more than 97% compliant with media placement standards — both of which we exceeded in our latest reporting.
We also believe in transparency in compliance both internally and externally. The Global Mars Marketing Code for Human Food 2018 Governance Report was our first annual governance report that publicly tracked our progress in implementing our marketing Code. Our 2019 report builds off our first report, providing more detail on our approach to governance of the Code, and how we have improved our practices further. We are encouraged that our results continue to demonstrate that our governance practices are driving the right behavior of our Associates and agency partners in upholding the commitments that we have made to market our brands responsibly.
Beyond compliance, we actively survey other industry players’ codes and marketing efforts to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding industry standards where it matters most. We also review and update our Code approximately every three years, to ensure that our commitments align with the current public conversation about marketing and that our Code remains a living document.
With a strong commitment to responsible marketing, we’re providing consumers today with the information they need to make healthy choices for a better tomorrow.