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Advertising Standards Canada issues update on Children's Advertising Initiative

Advertising Standards Canada released details yesterday of how various large Canadian food and beverage companies are committing to the Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which was first announced in April 2007. The initiative is intended to alter advertising aimed at children under the age of 12 to promote healthier dietary choices and more active living. "The Children's Advertising Initiative strengthens Canada's already rigorous framework for regulating children's advertising," said Linda Nagel, president of the organization. "The system includes pre-clearance of all children's commercials, a strict code of advertising standards and a robust consumer complaint mechanism. The participants are committed to the principles of accountability and transparency. As the Children's Advertising Initiative administrator, ASC will audit their compliance and publish annual reports on the results." According to the organization, Campbell Canada, General Mills Canada, Kellogg Canada, Kraft Canada, McDonald's Canada, Nestlé Canada, Parmalat Canada and Weston Bakeries have committed to direct 100 percent of their children's advertising to healthier dietary choices in accordance with government standards. Cadbury Adams Canada, Coca-Cola Canada, Hershey Canada, Janes Family Foods, Mars Canada, McCain Foods Canada, PepsiCo Canada and Unilever Canada have committed to not direct advertising to children under 12. According to ASC, 11 of these companies have already implemented their commitments and all of them will have completed implementation by the end of 2008.

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