Canada's food and beverage industry unveils integrated children-focused initiatives:



    New Social Marketing Campaign and Advertising Commitment Focused on
    Healthy Active Living

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - Today Canada's food and beverage industry
announced three significant initiatives that will affect the landscape for
advertising and marketing directed to children under 12. Joined by the
Minister of Health, the Hon. Tony Clement, Concerned Children's Advertisers
(CCA), Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) and Advertising Standards
Canada (ASC) laid out the unique, integrated approach Canada is taking to help
children and their families make wise choices related to healthy eating and
active living.

    
    -   Among today's announcements is the launch of a new social marketing
        initiative developed by CCA, which includes two new Long Live Kids
        television PSAs addressing healthy eating and physical activity.
    -   Under the new Canadian Children's Food & Beverage Advertising
        Initiative, 15 leading Canadian food and beverage companies will
        devote at least 50 per cent of their ads directed to children under
        12 toward the promotion of healthy dietary choices and/or active
        living messages. In support of this industry has announced that it
        will create a transparent, accountable compliance auditing process
        whereby Advertising Standards Canada, the independent advertising
        self-regulatory body, will publish the commitments made by the
        participating companies, audit their compliance and publicly report
        on the results on an annual basis.
    -   Additionally, new interpretation guidelines for children's food and
        beverage advertising have been added to the Broadcast Code for
        Advertising to Children and the Canadian Code of Advertising
        Standards.
    

    "As we saw with the launch of Canada's new Food Guide this year,
Canadians are becoming more and more aware of the importance of healthy eating
patterns. As government we can provide people with information while Canada's
manufacturers focus on providing safe, quality food. It is essential that we
work with industry and promote the idea that the excellent new research and
information contained within the Food Guide should be incorporated wherever
possible into the development of products which provide children with healthy
eating options," Health Minister Tony Clement said.
    "The fact that these charter participants in the food and beverage
industry have committed to devoting at least 50 per cent of their advertising
to healthy dietary choices and healthy lifestyles is an excellent step in the
right direction. I believe it shows our society has learned from the
experience of the last several decades and is ready to progress to a new level
of social responsibility and co-operation which will benefit all Canadians,
and our children in particular," Clement said.

    Long Live Kids - A Social Marketing Program for the Health of Children
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Part of a multi-faceted social marketing, education and media literacy
program created by CCA, Long Live Kids includes a series of child-directed
television public service announcements, a new online workshop for parents and
educators, real life workshops by leading Canadian educator Linda Millar, as
well as curriculum and community resources for children in grades K - 8. CCA's
'research-driven' and 'kid validated' programs focus on helping children make
wise media and life choices today and in the future, including helping them to
develop a critical thinking filter around all media. The first Long Live Kids
television PSA launched in 2004. Called "Health Rock", it reached 96 per cent
of Canadian children with 83 per cent of those aware of the PSA agreeing that
it made them stop and think about their food and activity choices; a further
61 per cent reported it would make them change their behaviour.
    "An announcement of this scope and scale is only possible with a great
deal of will and collaboration. The real power of today is that 16 leading
Canadian health, education and community NGO's have come together, with
government and industry, to inform and enable change for the health of
Canadian children. In addition to responsible advertising practices, social
marketing, education and media literacy have been identified as critical tools
necessary to support healthy lifestyles for our children. We are very pleased
to be announcing this next phase. Combining changes to advertising practices
with enhanced social marketing and education initiatives makes Canada's
approach truly unique and powerful," said Cathy Loblaw, President, CCA.

    Leveraging Advertising and Marketing Resources: The Canadian Children's
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative
    --------------------------------------

    Under the new Canadian Children's Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative,
15 Canadian companies including: Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell, Coca-Cola Ltd.,
General Mills, Hershey, Janes Family Foods, Kellogg, Kraft, McCain Foods,
McDonald's, Nestlé, Parmalat, PepsiCo, Unilever and Weston Foods will devote
at least 50 per cent of their television, radio, print and Internet
advertising directed primarily to children under 12 years of age to further
the goal of promoting healthy dietary choices and/or healthy active living.
Each participating company will also formalize and publish an individual plan
that sets out how their commitments will be achieved beginning Q1 2008. ASC
will act as the independent third party administrator - publishing the
commitments made by the participating companies, auditing participant
compliance, and publicly reporting on the results. In effect these companies
will be shifting the emphasis of their children's advertising and marketing to
healthy active living messages and/or foods and beverages that are consistent
with the principles of sound nutrition guidance, including those that are
lower in total calories, fats, salt and added sugars and higher in nutrients
that are significant to public health.
    "The food and beverage industry is well aware of the global, and
Canadian, concerns around childhood obesity and are committed to bringing
industry's resources to the table to help address a complex societal and
public health issue. Several years ago, industry set out to bring forward
meaningful changes that leveraged the strength of Canada's existing system
while integrating recommendations from Canadian and international issue
experts including the International Institute of Medicine (IOM). Today
industry is unveiling a comprehensive initiative not only on TV but in key
areas of interest including the Internet, entertainment media, in schools and
through the use of licensed characters. It's a natural evolution that builds
on the food industry's extensive efforts in the area of product reformulation
as well as packaging and portion-size innovation," said Nancy Croitoru,
President & CEO, FCPC.
    "We are pleased to see that industry has used established standards such
as Canada's Food Guide and the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check
program to guide this initiative's dietary recommendations," said Sally Brown,
CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "While there remains much to
be done to address the issue of obesity in Canada, industry's efforts around
product reformulation combined with this important advertising commitment are
positive steps forward that we will continue to monitor and encourage."

    Strengthening the System to Protect Kids
    ----------------------------------------

    As it stands today, Canada has one of the strongest frameworks in the
world for regulating advertising to children. Canada's system for regulating
children's food and beverage commercials starts with government regulations
under the Food and Drugs Act. Additionally, children's food and beverage
commercials are subject to the requirements of the Canadian Association of
Broadcasters' Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children. Adherence to this
broadcast code, including preclearance of each children's commercial by a
committee that includes industry and parent representatives, is a condition of
broadcast license by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission. Canada's self-regulatory system also includes a rigorous system
for responding to consumer complaints about advertisements under the
provisions of Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, which covers all media.
    Today's announcement strengthens the advertising framework by adding new
Interpretation Guidelines. Published today, and effective in September of this
year, both the Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children and the Canadian
Code of Advertising Standards, which covers all media, will be enhanced with
provisions that encompass healthy child development and appropriate food and
beverage consumption. These Interpretation Guidelines will help ensure that
advertising to children encourages responsible product use, and that the
amount of food shown being consumed does not exceed an appropriate single
serving size. "ASC will ensure that the Canadian Children's Food & Beverage
Advertising Initiative is both accountable and transparent to the Canadian
public," said Linda J. Nagel, ASC President and CEO.

    Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) is the national advertising industry
self-regulatory body committed to creating and maintaining community
confidence in advertising. ASC members - leading advertisers, advertising
agencies, media, and suppliers to the advertising industry - are committed to
supporting responsible and effective advertising self-regulation. A non-profit
organization, ASC administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the
principal instrument of advertising self-regulation in Canada, and a national
mechanism for accepting and responding to consumers' complaints about
advertising. Complaints are adjudicated by independent volunteer councils, and
ASC reports to the community on upheld complaints in its quarterly Ad
Complaints Report. Through ASC Clearance Services, ASC provides advertising
copy review to ensure compliance in five regulated categories. ASC is
celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2007.

    Concerned Children's Advertisers (CCA) is a non-profit organization of 22
member companies, supported by over 40 partner companies and governments,
issue experts and NGOs, that work together to contribute positively to the
media and life issues that affect children. For over 17 years, Concerned
Children's Advertisers has been giving Canadian children tools to be media and
life wise through its award-winning public service announcements and education
programs.

    Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is the largest industry
association representing Canadian-operated food and consumer product companies
that make and market retailer and national brands sold through retail and
foodservice outlets. In 2005, the industry employed approximately 300,000
Canadians across the country, making it the largest employer in the Canadian
manufacturing sector, and generated $24 billion annually in GDP (13% of the
Manufacturing Gross Domestic Product). On an annual basis, the industry
donates an estimated $100 million in cash donations to charitable causes and
over 5 million bags of groceries to food banks in Canada. The industry has a
record of embracing world-class regulatory standards and is governed by 442
federal and provincial pieces of legislation, as well as thousands of
regulations and self-imposed standards.

    
    Media are advised:

    1)  Additional regional spokespeople are available including for BC and
        French-speaking
    2)  A b-roll regarding this announcement including event photographs with
        the Hon. Tony Clement is available via satellite at:

        14:30 - 15:00 firm, Eastern, Monday April 16, 2007
        Anik F2C/7B @ 111.1 West
        Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3980 MHz.
        Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right

        Also Available at Toronto T.O.C.:
        PGAD 14:30 - 15:00 Eastern, Monday April 16, 2007
        Magnacom NOVSXS 225340 - 002 (SDI Router Position No. 42)
    





For further information:

For further information: Gabby Nobrega, FCPC, (416) 510-8024 x 2226,
gabbyn@fcpc.ca; Thomas Vandepeer, FCPC, (416) 510-8024 x 2253,
thomasv@fcpc.ca

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Food and Consumer Products of Canada

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