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Major ice cream makers vow to stop marketing to kids

February 14, 2020, 5:55 PM UTC

Ice cream might be the favorite treat of many kids, but the parent company of some of the best known ice cream brands says it plans to stop advertising to children by the end of the year.

Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Klondike, Good Humor, Talenti, Magnum, Cornetto, Viennetta, Choc Ice and others, has announced plans to stop television and print marketing to children younger than 12, and will curb any social media promotions for children under 13.

Rising child obesity rates are behind the decision.

“The World Health Organization names childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century,” the company said in a statement. “And it’s a key reason why Unilever is committing to new principles on marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children.”

Unilever pledged to change its practices before the end of the year, offering an extensive list of new marketing principles. Children under 12 will not appear in ads. And parents will always be “portrayed in control of the access to the product,” the company said.

It also vowed to no longer use influencers, celebrities or social media stars who primarily appeal to children under the age of 12. The use of cartoon characters in advertising will also be curtailed.

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