EU: Commissioner praises drinks firms for ad commitments
EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou has praised the EU soft drinks industry for its commitment to stop advertising its products to children. However, he has faced criticism for apparently endorsing products that many still believe are a root cause of Europe's obesity crisis.
Speaking at a "name and praise" event in Brussels, the commissioner said it was important to encourage the efforts made by the companies - acting under the aegis of the Unesda industry association - to combat obesity.
"I have been criticised by the food and drink industry in the past for not doing enough to support them, so I am happy to praise them when they are making real efforts to reduce obesity."
Unesda and the nine companies, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Orangina and GlaxoSmithKline, have committed to take action via the European Commission's Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, launched in March last year to tackle the growing obesity problem.
Kyprianou refuted claims that his support for the industry he was meant to be policing was inappropriate, arguing that working together was the best way to achieve successful results.
But he warned that self-regulation by the industry had to be closely monitored to ensure that companies "do what they say will do", and welcomed the independent assessment of the drinks industry's commitments by auditors PwC and drinks industry specialist Canadean. "We won't hesitate to take action in the future if we think the system of self-regulation isn't working," he added.
"We are pleased that the commissioner has confidence in the EU soft drinks industry," said Dominique Reiniche, president of Coca-Cola's EU operations and president of Unesda. "We believe that self-regulation is the best way to get quick, effective results, through binding but voluntary commitments."
Alain Beaumont, secretary general of Unesda, told just-drinks that the industry had committed to independent monitoring of its commitments after its own research showed consumers remained sceptical.
PepsiCo is claiming that its Diet Pepsi brand has "more cola taste" than Diet Coke in its latest advertising campaign....
PepsiCo's chairman Steve Reinemund retired today (2 May). The company's CEO Indra K. Nooyi assumes the title of chairman....
PepsiAmericas has issued details of its Q1 dividend payments....
PepsiCo has posted an impressive lift in earnings for the first quarter of this year....
PepsiAmericas has posted a set of Q1 results driven by higher volumes in the US and Central Europe....
The Pepsi Bottling Group has posted a reasonably flat start to 2007....
Cott Corp. is rumoured to be in talks with private equity firms to merge with the beverage arm of Cadbury Schweppes....
PepsiCo has appointed a new president for its Gatorade business....
- The end is nigh for Global Travel Retail - Comment
- Interview, Bulldog Gin founder Anshuman Vohra
- Pernod Ricard's Q1 results - Preview
- Five ways small brands can beat big players
- A Keeper of the Quaich writes - Editor's Viewpoint
- Diageo most at risk to Thai alcohol ban - analyst
- Constellation sells Canadian wine unit for US$761m
- Jobs at new India hub won't affect staff - Diageo
- Stumbling UK Pound prompts Conviviality price hike
- Pernod Ricard cheers US move to ease Cuban limits
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends