RAISING MARKETING STANDARDS
HELPING PEOPLE LEAD HEALTHIER, HAPPIER LIVES
We have many well-known brands loved by people around the world. We take this opportunity and responsibility seriously, and implement measures as guided by the Mars Marketing Code to ensure we’re responsible in our marketing, provide clear information, and promote appropriate use of our products and services.
In fact, we’ve set goals to remain more than 95 percent compliant with media content standards, and more than 97 percent compliant with media placement standards. In 2017, we exceeded both of those goals.
The Responsible Marketing Governance Report is Mars’ first annual governance report that tracks our progress in implementing the Mars Marketing Code for Human Food. This report provides more detail on Mars’ approach to governance of the Code, our initial success, as well as areas for us to improve. We are encouraged by our 2017 audit findings, which will enable us to enhance the responsibility of our marketing efforts. It is our hope that the findings shared here will contribute to the growing understanding of the importance of responsible marketing practices and spark further action across the industry.
We were one of the first companies to launch a responsible marketing code back in 2007. Our marketing code applies to all marketing and communications for human food products and comprise a range of commitments, including:
- No advertising to children younger than 12 years of age, or under 13 years for digital communications, and equipping parents and careers with the information they need to make decisions about what’s right for their children’s diet.
- No use of celebrities and licensed characters that appeal to children under the age of 12. Our M&M’S® Character Guidelines focus the actions and speech of the characters toward an audience older than 12 years of age, and we emphasize their mature personalities and adult characteristics through all communications.
- Nutritional information on front of pack. We display calorie Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) or equivalent labeling on the front and back of packaging. We’re proud to be one of the first global food and drink companies to provide guidance on how often our more indulgent meal offerings should be consumed.
Portion sizes. We’ve capped single-serve packs of chocolate and confectionery products at 250 calories or fewer to help consumers make responsible choices. To build on this and further increase consumer choice, we also plan to launch more packs with even fewer calories.
We promote responsible promotions that don’t target children or encourage anti-social behavior.
SUSTAINABLE IN A GENERATION PLAN: RESPONSIBLE MARKETING TARGETS
Our 2017 Report shows 97 percent of our media content in our top 15 markets/regions was compliant with our Mars Marketing Code, and we achieved 98 percent compliance for our media placement across our top 15 markets. MediaCom and Starcom performed our media placement audit tracking the placement of our marketing communications across six different media types. We also worked with an independent third-party auditor, Ebiquity, to assess the compliance of our marketing communications and media content across print, TV, digital, social media and posters. This rigorous process involves 29 compliance checks to ensure Mars’ marketing communications across our top 15 markets comply with our responsible marketing commitments, as laid out in our Mars Marketing Code.
Helping People Choose
When consumers think of our brands, the product label is often the first thing that comes to mind. This is why a key component of our commitment to responsible marketing revolves around the information we present in association with our brands.
Promoting Responsible Product Use
In addition to our policies around labeling transparency, Mars is committed to providing information around responsible consumption and disposal of our products to our consumers.