Safe products and responsible communication are vital in building and strengthening trust with our consumers and stakeholders.
Healthier products and promoting healthier behaviours - helping consumers understand the importance of healthy diets and lifestyles – are just part of how we bring health through food.
All our activity is underpinned by responsible communications and by making food quality and safety our top priority at all times. We also build trust with healthcare professionals by providing relevant information about the value of nutrition at all ages.
Working through our industry trade bodies, such as the World Federation of Advertisers and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), we support the development of general principles in this area, and their integration into advertising and marketing self-regulatory codes and systems around the world.
In Ireland, Danone, alongside our industry partners and government, developed the voluntary code of practice for Non-Broadcast Media Advertising and Marketing of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, including Sponsorship and Retail Product Placement.
In Ireland, advertising self-regulation has existed for over 30 years since the formation of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (“ASAI”). The ASAI ‘Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications’ lay out the voluntary rules which apply to the marketing communications of food. The Code aims to regulate commercial marketing communications in the interest of consumers, ensuring that all marketing communications are prepared in a responsible manner. The rules in the ASAI Code apply to all marketing communications for food, and state that all marketing communications should be legal, decent, honest and truthful and should not mislead the consumer. In most cases, a child is anyone under 18 years of age. More information on the code can be found here.
OUR GLOBAL RESPONSIBLE
Danone commits to promoting, first and foremost, healthy products.
Globally, as 90%1 of Danone’s sales volumes are in healthy categories, the vast majority of our marketing is focused on healthy products. Furthermore, thanks to our internal Nutrition Commitments, we expect our marketing investment for healthy products and healthier alternatives to increase globally in the coming years.
Keenly aware of the prevalence of chronic diet- and lifestyle-related diseases, it is our policy and principle to avoid any type of message that could encourage overconsumption of any of our products or the pursuit of unhealthy lifestyles.
1 2019 figure. A conversion factor has been applied for all products that are not consumed as such but 'reconstituted', e.g. milk powders that must be added with milk, etc.
We commit to presenting products in the context of a balanced diet. Passionate about inclusion, we also commit to promoting diversity in our advertising and representing a variety of body types and shapes in our advertising.
MARKETING TO CHILDREN
Danone strongly believes that it is crucial to encourage children to enjoy a healthy diet and active lifestyle from an early age in order for habits to be sustained into adulthood. Danone applies principles of the Global Danone Pledge on marketing to children of December 2019. Marketing communications* directed to children under 12 years of age can only be for products that meet the Danone Pledge. Danone encourages children's hydration through direct marketing communications of plain water brands. Danone does not direct any marketing communications for Aquadrinks to children below 12 years of age.
* It refers to paid and unpaid communications developed by Danone with the intention of promoting its products to children under the age of 12 using TV, radio, print, cinema, online (on all digital platforms, including company-owned websites and company-owned social media profiles), DVD/CD-ROM, direct marketing, product placement, interactive games, outdoor marketing, mobile and SMS marketing. Danone marketing communications are considered to be addressed to children under the age of 12 when these represent at least 30% of the audience.
Concretely, Danone applies the following rules:
Licensed characters, celebrities, influencers and premiums
- Use of licensed characters, movie tie-ins, celebrities, influencers and premiums primarily appealing to children under the age of 12 only in conjunction with products that achieve the Danone Pledge Nutrition Criteria in marketing communications to children.
Packaging, Point of sale
- Use of licensed characters, movie tie-ins, celebrities and premiums primarily appealing to children below 12 years of age only for marketing communication on packaging and at the point of sale (excluding ordinary display) in connection with products that meet specific Nutrition Criteria.
Schools and places where children gather
- No product marketing communications in and near Primary schools nor in Secondary schools,
- Participation only in educational programs aimed at children under the age of 12 and product sampling only where specifically requested by, or agreed with, the school administration for educational purpose,
- Engagement in product marketing communications or in product sampling in childcare centers, family and child services only with products complying with Danone Pledge Nutrition criteria and in consultation with the management of these settings.
MARKETING BREAST MILK SUBSTITUTES
At Danone we believe that breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. We provide breast milk substitutes (BMS) for instances where mothers cannot or choose not to breast feed.
For these products, Danone complies fully with the International Code for the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, published by the World Health Organisation. The guiding principles of this BMS policy are as follows:
- We acknowledge the importance of, and commit to the principles of, the WHO Code and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions.
- We support the WHO's global public health recommendation calling for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by the introduction of safe and appropriate complementary foods at around six months of age.1
- We encourage continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond, alongside the introduction of safe and appropriate complementary foods around six months of age.1
- We are committed to ensuring that the practice of breastfeeding is not undermined through marketing material on any of our products.
- We will not advertise or promote infant formula (0-6 months) or delivery products (such as bottles and teats) in any country where we do business.
- We will not advertise or promote follow-on formula (6-12 months), in higher risk countries.
- We will not advertise or promote complementary food and drinks for use by infants under the age of six months in higher risk countries.
- We support and advocate responsible marketing practices that promote good health and safe nutrition for all infants and young children.
- We work with partners, trade associations, industry groups and multiple stakeholders to promote responsible and ethical marketing practices.
- We work with retail customers and partners, acting on behalf of Danone involved in bringing our products to the market to establish awareness and emphasise the importance of abiding by relevant laws, the WHO Code and this BMS Policy.
- We comply with all applicable local laws and regulations in the countries where we do business.
- We respect the role of national governments to develop health policies that are appropriate to their social and legislative frameworks and overall development objectives.
- We monitor our marketing practices according to the principles and aims of the WHO Code, independent of any other measures taken by governments to implement the WHO Code, and take steps to confirm that our conduct at every level conforms to our policy in this regard.
- We support governments in their efforts to implement the WHO Code and cooperate with governments to monitor the application of the WHO Code.
- We commit to ensure that quality is a top priority, with the appropriate leadership and resources to create and deliver a quality and food safety environment that meets strict hygienic and quality control standards, such as international guidelines developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other relevant local laws and regulations.
1We acknowledge national health and dietary recommendations that may recommend the introduction of safe and appropriate Complementary Foods after 4 months of age. Countries that are considered Low Risk may market Complementary Foods in line with such dietary guidelines; however, such products are always positioned as a complement to breast-milk and are never promoted to the detriment of breast-feeding.
Food safety and quality are paramount at all stages, as we create, manufacture and deliver our products.
Food safety policy
Our Food Safety Policy helps us to ensure that products are compliant with local laws and regulations, as well as with stringent Danone Food Safety Compliance procedures at all times. Danone is also actively participating in the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) to pioneer the latest research on food safety techniques and processes.
To learn about all of Danone’s responsible company practices, visit our global website.