CONFECTIONERY giant Masterfoods, which owns the Mars, Maltesers, Topic, Revel and Snickers candy bar brand names, has said it will stop marketing its "core products" to children under the age of 12 by the end of this year the first time a big foodmaker has set such a high global age limit for products.
The policy will apply to all advertising, including online and new media, The Financial Times reported.
"We have decided to make an official policy change to a cut-off age of 12 years for all our core products," read a Masterfoods letter to the European Commission's director-general for health and consumer protection Robert Madelin, according to the business paper.
Core products reportedly include snack foods and confectionery.
The newspaper said that while Masterfoods already had a policy of not advertising to children younger than six, rivals Nestle and PepsiCo do not have a global age limit for targeting children.
According to the paper, CadburySchweppes does not advertise to children less than eight, while Kraft does not advertise to children younger than six, though it said that it only markets "better for you" products such as fruit juices and wheat crackers to children between six and 11.The measure reflects mounting concerns about the links between advertising and childhood obesity and follows moves by some public authorities to bring in tighter food regulations.