The report was informed by a Commission of child and adolescent health experts from around the world
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WFA welcomes the report “A Future for the World’s Children?” by the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission and any effort that raises this issue in the public and political consciousness. It is absolutely critical that today’s children be put at the heart of global efforts to secure a sustainable tomorrow.
Even though we do not believe that it is helpful to conflate the existential threat of the ecological challenge our planet faces with the impact of brand marketing, we do believe that any responsible business must take particular care towards children. That’s why WFA champions the development and implementation of strong industry standards for responsible marketing based on UN recommendations, especially with regard to children. And independent data show that these measures are having a positive impact.
For instance, in Europe we have seen children’s exposure to high fat, salt and sugar food and beverage advertising on TV decline by 48% overall and by 83% in children’s programmes. Data from the UK Advertising Standards Authority show that HFSS food and non-alcoholic beverage advertising accounts for no more than 3.5% of the total advertising that children are exposed to online. The ASA reports that alcohol ads make up just 0.8% of the number of all TV ads seen by children each week. Online, less than 0.1% of all ads viewed by children and adults are for alcohol products.
That’s not to absolve ourselves of our responsibilities. We know we have to continue to raise the bar by working with both alcohol producers and the food and non-alcoholic beverage sectors to continuously enhance global industry standards.