Sobering, yet not terribly surprising, news out of Australia.
“Food company Mars breached the “Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative” 102 times during a three-month period in 2014, up from 25 times two years earlier, the latest compliance report by the Australian Food and Grocery Council reveals,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“While Mars reduced its violations from 2013, it was still by far the worst offender, accounting for a third of the total number of breaches in 2014 by the code’s 17 signatories, which includes Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s,” the article continues.
This is yet another example of industry self-regulation run amok. And, while Mars reduced its violations, two Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics partners — General Mills and PepsiCo — have increased their number of offenses year after year. “PepsiCo… breached the code 59 times in 2014, up from four times two years earlier.”
While, in the case of Mars, the over one hundred violations account for less than one percent of the totality of the company’s advertisements, the fact remains that the goal of truly responsible marketing is to avoid one single violation.