M&M's maker to stop marketing to kids
Closely held Masterfoods says it will end marketing of its core products to those under age 12 by year-end.



February 5 2007

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Confectionery giant Masterfoods, which makes Mars and Snickers candy bars as well as M&M's chocolates, says it will stop marketing its core products to children under the age of 12 by the end of this year.

The new policy will cover all advertising, including online and new media.

The European union authority DG Sanco, much like the U.S.'s FDA, sent an inquiry to Masterfoods several months ago about the company's marketing and advertising of its products targeting children, according to Masterfoods spokeswoman Marlene Machut.

In response, Masterfoods sent a letter to DG Sanco on Friday related to its core products - candy, snack foods - saying "we will not be advertising these products to children under 12 years of age," Machut said.

This includes "all of our core confectionary products and snack food products," which include Snickers, Mars, M&M's, Twix, Skittles, Starburst, and Milky Way, Machut said.

She also said, however, that this will not change how some of the company's products are advertised - for example there "won't be much of a change" to M&M's advertising because it does not currently target the age range at issue.

"M&M's have never been targeted below 12 years of age so there is no change with that marketing. The base brand has never been targeted to that age range," Machut added.

An example of a product's marketing that will be affected is mini M&M's, which have targeted younger customers, including those under age 12.


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