TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) today
released its fourth annual Compliance Report on the Canadian Children's
Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI), covering 2011. The
Report shows that the companies participating in the CAI have
demonstrated excellent compliance in meeting their program commitments.
"Since the program's inception in 2007, participating companies have
made complying with their commitments a high corporate priority, and
this is reflected in the outstanding record of compliance that they
have achieved," stated Linda J. Nagel, President and CEO of ASC.
The Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI)
The CAI was launched by Canada's food and beverage industry in April
2007. It was developed to shift the landscape of advertising primarily
directed to children under 12 years of age to the promotion of
better-for-you products. The CAI complements the existing rigorous
Canadian framework for regulating advertising to children. This is the
fourth annual Report by ASC, the CAI administrator, on the progress
made last year by the companies participating in the CAI to meet their
Under the CAI, leading Canadian food and beverage advertisers have
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 the principles of sound nutrition guidance. The CAI
requires that a Participant's nutrition criteria meet at least one of
foods that reflect the dietary guidelines of Canada's Food Guide;
foods that meet criteria for disease risk reduction claims, function
claims and nutrient function claims as per the CFIA Guide to Food
Labelling and Advertising;
foods that meet the criteria for nutrient content claims as per the CFIA
Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising; or
foods that meet the standards for participating in the Heart & Stroke
Foundation's Health Check TM program.
Participants have also committed to:
incorporate only products that meet the CAI nutrition criteria in
interactive games primarily directed to children under 12 years of age;
reduce the use of third party licensed characters in advertising
directed primarily to children under 12 for products that do not meet
the CAI criteria;
not pay for or actively seek to place food and beverage products in
program/editorial content of any medium primarily directed to children;
not advertise food or beverage products in elementary schools -
pre-kindergarten through Grade 6.
The 2011 Report evaluates compliance with their commitments by the
following companies: Burger King Restaurants of Canada, Inc.; Campbell
Company of Canada; Coca-Cola Ltd.; Ferrero Canada 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; Post Foods Canada Corp., Unilever
Canada Inc. and Weston Bakeries Limited. (Danone Inc., which joined the
CAI in 2011, was not reviewed for this Report.)
The program covers advertising on television, radio, in print and on the
Internet, as well as on:
video and computer games rated "Early Childhood" or "EC," which are inherently primarily directed
to children under 12, and other games that are age-graded on the label
and packaging as being primarily directed to children under 12 ,
DVDs of movies that are rated "G" whose content is primarily directed to
children under 12, and other DVDs whose content is primarily directed
to children under 12,
mobile media such as cell phones, PDAs and through word of mouth where
advertising on those media is primarily directed to children under 12.
The Changing Landscape
Since the launch of the CAI, the nutritional profile and the array of
products advertised to children under 12 has continued to change as
participants reformulated many products and adjusted the range of
products they advertise directly to children.
Some participants ceased child-directed advertising altogether, while
others launched new better-for-you entries. Improvements have also been
made in many product categories, both through the reduction of
ingredients including trans fat, sodium, and sugar, and through the
addition of positive nutrients including fibre, whole grains, vitamins
Today, no product in the program is more than 200 calories and every
meal is less than 600 calories.
2011 ASC Spot Check
A 2011 spot check of television advertising conducted by ASC on
children's programming during a ten-day period, shows that food and
beverage commercials represent 26% of the total number of
advertisements aired. 92% of the food and beverage commercials aired
during this period were for products covered under the CAI − up from
80% in 2010.
In addition, all quick service restaurant meals advertised during the
period included more than 1/2 a serving of fruit. Appendix 1 of the
2011 Compliance Report lists the products advertised by Participants.
Transparency and public accountability are key components of the CAI. As
program administrator, ASC provides independent oversight to the CAI
approving and publishing the participants' commitments;
auditing participants' compliance; and
issuing annual compliance reports
ASC evaluates participants' compliance through audit activities,
monitoring, and stringent reporting requirements.
Advertising Standards Canada
Founded in 1957, ASC is the national independent 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 not-for-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, comprising senior industry and public
representatives. ASC reports to the community on upheld complaints
through its online Ad Complaints Reports. Through ASC Clearance Services, ASC provides advertising copy review
in five regulated categories to ensure compliance with specific laws,
regulations, codes and guidelines.
The 2011 CAI Compliance Report and information about the CAI are
available at: www.adstandards.com/childrensinitiative.
SOURCE: Advertising Standards Canada
For further information:
Hill & Knowlton Canada