SLOUGH, UK: Confectionery brands such as Mars and Snickers will no longer be advertised to children under twelve in the UK, says global manufacturer Masterfoods.

The company has undertaken to cease targeting TV commercials at this age group by the end of the year, although it is unclear how youngsters will be prevented from accessing online marketing.

Masterfoods already has a policy of not advertising to children younger than six, and the move is a pre-emptive strike by food manufacturers against legislation by the UK government and the European Union.

British media regulator Ofcom has proposed a total ban on advertising foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt to children under 16 in the UK [WARC News: 20-Nov-06]. It has also warned that it wants to ban such commercials during supposedly adult programs that are watched by a significant number of children.

Comments a Masterfoods spokesman: "Concerns have been expressed by governments and parents about the marketing of products to children. We have therefore decided we will not direct communications about our core food and confectionery products to children under the age of twelve."

Other food companies have already imposed advertising age limits. Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coco-Cola and Cadbury's will not advertise to children under eight and Kraft will not advertise to children under six.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff