Responsible Marketing At Mars
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Raising Marketing Standards

Helping People Lead Healthier, Happier Lives

We have many well-known brands loved by people around the world. We take this opportunity and responsibility seriously, and implement measures as guided by the Mars Marketing Code to ensure we’re responsible in our marketing, provide clear information, and promote appropriate use of our products and services.

Our Responsible Marketing Action Plan

We were one of the first companies to launch a responsible marketing program back in 2007. Our marketing guidelines apply to all marketing and communications for human food products and comprise a range of commitments, including:

  • No advertising to children younger than 12 years of age, or under 13 years for digital communications, and equipping parents and carers with the information they need to make decisions about what’s right for their children’s diet. In Europe, we have developed specific guidance for the EU GDPR on Marketing to Children.
  • No use of celebrities and licensed characters that appeal to children under the age of 12. Our M&M’S® Character Guidelines focus the actions and speech of the characters toward an audience older than 12 years of age and we emphasize their mature personalities and adult characteristics through all communications.
  • Nutritional information on front of pack. We display calorie Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) or equivalent labeling on the front and back of packaging. We’re proud to be one of the first global food and drink companies to provide guidance on how often our more indulgent meal offerings should be consumed.
  • Portion sizes. We’ve capped single-serve packs of chocolate and confectionery products at 250 calories or fewer to help consumers make smart choices. We’re also increasing the number of chocolate and confectionery products that are 200 calories or less per portion.
  • No tie-ins with alcohol or tobacco brands.


In 2016, 95 percent of our media content in our top 18 media markets/regions was compliant with our Mars Marketing Code, and we achieved 97.3 percent compliance for our media placement across our top 14 markets, excluding Russia. MediaCom and Starcom performed our media placement audit tracking the placement of our marketing communications across 6 different media types. We worked with an independent third-party auditor, Ebiquity, for our media content audit. This ground-breaking, rigorous initiative performed 24 compliance checks to ensure the content of our marketing communications didn’t appeal or target under 12 year olds, or under 13 year olds for Digital communications. Building on the industry-leading commitments in our Mars Marketing Code, the audit was the first of its kind for Mars and will be repeated every quarter. We’re proud of our initial results – but we won’t get complacent! We’re encouraged and excited to ramp up our responsible marketing efforts, particularly in the weaker-performing markets and media types, aiming to create a culture of full transparency and accountability.

We will not direct marketing communications primarily to children under 12 in terms of advertising and media content. Compliance is measured against 24 commitments as defined by our Mars Marketing Code.


We will not direct marketing communications primarily to children under 12 in terms of advertising and media placement. This is defined when more than 25% of the audience is under 12 years old. The compliance target is >97%; due to the forward-looking nature of the media buying process, it is impossible to achieve a compliance rate of 100%.

ONGOING TARGET: Media placement compliance >97 percent
PROGRESS: 97.3 percent compliance in top 14 markets

Helping People Choose

When consumers think of our brands, the product label is often the first thing that comes to mind. This is why a key component of our commitment to Responsible Marketing revolves around the information we present in association with our beloved brands.

Learn more about our labeling standards and the resources we’ve developed to Help People Choose

Promoting Responsible Product Use

In addition to our policies around labeling transparency, Mars is adamant about communicating information around responsible consumption and disposal of our products.

Find out how we’re people who enjoy what we make while Promoting Responsible Product Use

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