Europe's soft drinks industry has unveiled proposals to stop advertisements aimed at children under 12.

The voluntary measure, together with a plan to remove vending machines from elementary schools and offer healthier options in high school machines, aims to help stem the rising tide of childhood obesity.

Industry umbrella group, the Union of European Beverages Associations (known as UNESDA), says companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo will stop airing commercials during children's television programmes.

Says Stephen Kehoe, PepsiCo Europe executive and chair of a UNESDA taskforce: "This is the first time that the major beverage producers in Europe have come together to define jointly their commitments related to responsible sales and marketing practices - especially to children and schools."

  • Meanwhile TV lobby group, the European Alliance of Listener and Viewer Associations, is demanding the EC tightens rules on product placement and advertising to kids.

    The call for action follows the recent Television Without Frontiers EC directive to open the doors to legal product placement on TV [WAMN: 15-Dec-05]. The new regulations have yet to be ratified by national governments.

    EURALVA wants viewers and their children "to be protected from commercial exploitation and excessive violence".

    It is also calling for clear identification of the country of origin of an advertising campaign and the relevant regulatory authority plus a commitment to guarantee a practical method of right of reply for viewers.

    Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff