Marketing Code

Our Marketing Code

We are committed to responsible, creative marketing across all of our brands. This Code applies to our marketing communications for all food, chocolate, confections and gum products produced and licensed by Mars, Incorporated and Wrigley on a worldwide basis on all of our channels — from websites to press releases and everything in between.

The core principles behind our Marketing Code are as follows:

  • We will not market to children under 12 years old because, based on the scientific evidence1, we believe they cannot identify and understand the persuasive intent of advertising
  • We equip gatekeepers, such as parents, with the information they need to take decisions about what is right for their children’s diet
  • We are transparent about our code compliance internally and externally
  • We actively survey other industry players’ codes and marketing behavior to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding industry standards where it matters most
  • We review and update the Mars Marketing Code every three years, to ensure that our commitments align with developments in the external environment and that our code remains a living document
1We have based our Marketing Code on a number of studies, including the 2006 National Academy of Sciences report, "Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?" This report concluded that there is “strong evidence” that television advertising influences the food and beverage preferences and purchase requests of children ages 2-11, and “moderate evidence” that television advertising influences the food and beverage beliefs of children ages 2-11, and “insufficient evidence” that television advertising influences the preferences, purchase requests, or beliefs of teens ages 12-18. Other studies consulted include "Is television advertising good for children? Areas of concern and policy implications" from the International Journal of Advertising; "Review of the research on the effects of food promotion to children" by the U.K. Food Standards Agency; "Does advertising literacy mediate the effects of advertising on children? A critical examination of two linked research literatures in relation to obesity and food choice" from the Journal of Communication; and "The development of a child into a consumer" from the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
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