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Advertising and marketing

Advertising helps inform people about the benefits of our products and innovations accurately. It is also a way for us to engage with consumers on issues that matter to them.

Communicating with consumers

We have clearly defined principles that guide our communications with consumers:

  • We are committed to building trust through responsible practices and through transparent communication – both directly to consumers and indirectly through other key stakeholders and thought-leaders.
  • It is our responsibility to ensure that our products are safe and that we provide clear information on their use and any risks that are associated with their use.
  • We fully support a consumer's right to know what is in our products and are transparent in terms of ingredients, nutrition values and the health and beauty properties of our products.
  • We use a combination of channels, which includes product labels, websites, careline phone numbers and/or consumer leaflets to communicate openly with our consumers.

Responsible marketing and advertising

We are committed to responsible marketing and advertising. As a leading consumer goods company, we promote the benefits of our products accurately using many different channels of brand communication.

Marketing and advertising can be a powerful force for behaviour change. They help inform people about the benefits of our products and innovations. To maintain integrity in our marketing, we are committed to avoiding any exaggeration in claims regarding the environmental and social impacts of our products. We believe in providing accurate, balanced and factual information about our products/ services to our customers to ensure transparency and informed decision-making.

Additionally, we uphold the principles of fair competition and do not engage in spreading disinformation about our competitors’ work/ products. By adhering to these principles, we strive to create an environment of trust and reliability for our customers, fostering informed choices and responsible consumption.

It is also a way for us to engage with consumers on issues that matter to them. For example:

  • Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty challenges beauty stereotypes and biases.
  • Surf excel 'Dirt is good' campaign promotes getting dirty as a natural and positive part of growing up for children.
  • Our Comfort One Rinse campaign explains to consumers that they only need one bucket of water for rinsing their clothes rather than three, helping them to save water.

We recognise the influence of marketing and advertising on consumers and take our responsibilities seriously. We apply the Advertising Standards Council (ASCI) code and other regulatory guidelines on advertising as the basis for all our communications.

To ensure the implementation of our responsible marketing standards, we have established various measures within our organisation. Our employees undergoe regular training sessions on responsible marketing and advertising practices. Additionally, we have implemented a strong internal controls framework that focusses on various areas, including responsible marketing.

To effectively exercise these controls, we have established company-wide forums. These are designed to align with local market standards and serve three key purposes to meet the local market standards from three angles, viz. compliance to statutory mandates; adhere to marketing principles laid down by ASCI and comply with Unilever internal policies on marketing.

Marketing our foods and beverages

We’re committed to promoting healthy diets, not just by providing more nutritious products but also by marketing and advertising them responsibly.

In 2003, we were one of the first companies to apply principles for marketing foods and beverages to children. We have since evolved these principles in the light of continued concern about childhood obesity, the impact of social media and the vast number of products to choose from. Our Principles on Responsible Food & Beverage Marketing to Children (PDF 1.06 MB) are applicable to all Unilever’s food and beverage marketing communications and activities worldwide, as are our Nutrition and Ice cream Business Groups' General Marketing Principles (PDF 307.49 KB).

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