Matt Barwell, chief marketing officer at Britvic, has called on advertisers to fundamentally rethink their approach to marketing products to children as part of efforts to curb Britain’s obesity epidemic.
Speaking out in the Guardian ahead of the LEAD advertising summit Barwell is joining a growing chorus of calls for a more responsible approach in an effort to restore public trust in the industry.
To achieve this Barwell outlines a triple pronged strategy of promoting exercise, voluntarily adopting more stringent ethical standards and a media engagement literacy programme to educate children in critical thinking.
Barwell wrote: “Take the combined wisdom and energy of our agency sectors, the reach of our media and the power of our brands and we could make huge strides in increasing children’s levels of activity.
“At Britvic, for example, last year we teamed up with Tough Mudder to establish Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder – a chance to inspire kids to get active and explore their adventurous sides, and we’re expanding that format this year to reach more children. What could your brand do?”
As part of its own efforts Britvic has committed mot to advertise to under 12’s and has lent support to Media Smart which distributes resources to children which seek to foster critical thinking when presented with advertising claims and messages.