From today it will adopt a global guideline that will stop the future use of size zero models or actors in its advertising. And it will also restrict its marketing and advertising to children
between 6 to 11 years of age to the healthier foods and beverage products in its portfolio.
Unilever will not impose strict criteria for models’ and actors’ Body Mass Index (BMI), but all brand directors and agencies will be expected to use BMI of between 18.5 and 25 as a guideline.
This range is in line United Nations guidance of what level of BMI can be considered healthy.
Unilever’s global commitment to responsible marketing to children is also being strengthened. Its voluntary commitment will cover food and beverage products which have a positive nutrition
profile and that qualify for its ‘Choices/Eat Smart – Drink Smart’ programme. It will be fully implemented by the end of 2008. The commitment builds on its voluntary restriction not to
directly target its marketing to children below six years of age that it announced in March 2006.
Ralph Kugler, President Home and Personal Care, said: “As a responsible Company, Unilever has adopted a new global guideline that will require that all its future marketing communications
should not use models or actors that are either excessively slim or promote ‘unhealthy’ slimness.
“It’s a response to growing societal concerns about the possible negative health effects that could occur should people pursue unhealthy or excessive slimness. Unilever believes in a healthy
balanced diet and that both men and women have the right to feel comfortable with their bodies and not suffer from lack of self-esteem brought on by images of excessive slimness.”
Vindi Banga, President Foods, said: “Today’s announcement also reflects Unilever’s ongoing commitment to act responsibly in its marketing practises to consumers around the world. We also see
this as a further step in responding to growing concerns about rising levels of obesity and dietary deficiency – particularly among children. This supports Unilever’s broader strategy to
improve the overall nutritional composition of our foods and to help parents and their children make ‘healthier choices’ without compromising on taste and enjoyment.”
Notes to editors
In July 2003 Unilever adopted Global Food and Beverage Marketing Principles to promote the responsible marketing of our brands to consumers. They act as a guide to our marketers and any third
party agencies who we retain. In March 2006, Unilever also introduced a voluntary restriction not to directly target our marketing to children below six years of age. This commitment was made
based on a growing body of evidence that children below six found it difficult to distinguish between programming and advertising. A copy of Unilever’s Principles is available as a PDF file by
visiting Unilever’s website.
Unilever’s Nutrition Enhancement Programme (NEP) aims to continuously improve the nutritional profile of our brands and act as a driver for innovation. Under the NEP we are reviewing the
nutritional composition of our entire foods portfolio for levels of trans-fat, saturated fats, sodium and sugars. This is based on work done by Unilever Food and Health Institute which has
translated the dietary recommendations from the World Health Organisation and national authorities into benchmarks for individual foods. Our brands are have already made great strides in
product reformulation. For example, since 2005-6 has already removed 17 416 tons of sugar, 3 017 tons of sodium, 30 485 tons of trans-fat and 7 125 tons of saturated fat from our products.
In May 2006, Unilever committed to rolling out globally our ‘healthier choices’ stamp to help inform and assist consumers in making their purchasing decisions. This ‘Choices/Eat Smart-Drink
Smart’ programme stamp or logo will be displayed on all of our products that meet the criteria stipulated – in line with internationally accepted dietary advice for fat, sugar and salt.
The front-of-pack stamp is complemented by back-of-pack nutrition information. The US, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic have already launched the
programme and we plan to roll it out to all our major markets by the end of 2007. Over a third of products already qualify. For more information click on the link provided below.
Unilever will not impose strict criteria for models and actors Body Mass Index (BMI), but all Brand Directors and Agencies will be expected to use Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 18.5 and 25
as a guideline. This range is in line United Nations guidance of what level of BMI can be considered healthy.
Unilever’s Vitality Science Symposium is being held on the 8-9th May 2007 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Unilever Research & Development Vlaardingen. Unilever R&D insights and
science behind innovations will be presented in each session by Unilever scientists. Our scientists and technologists are continuously exploring and developing science and technology to meet
consumer needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Breakthrough innovations in these areas require scientific excellence, and it is part of our mission to work with the academic community
to achieve this excellence and to deliver innovation. On the afternoon of the 9th May, Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s CEO, will award €250 000 Unilever Science Prize to an individual external
scientist judged to have made an outstanding contribution to his or her scientific field.