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Unilever, best known for its Dove ads featuring normal-sized women, has adopted a new set of advertisement guidelines.

As the second largest marketing company in the United Kingdom, the company has announced that it will stop using size zero models and actors in its advertising. Unilever will also restrict its advertising to children to promote healthy food choices.

The company explained that it would "not impose a strict criteria for models and actors" in advertisements for products such as Lynx deodorant, Pond’s skincare, Lipton teas, Skippy peanut butter, and Slimfast, but brand directors and ad agencies working with the company will be expected to feature models and actors with a BMI rating between 18.5 and 25 as a guideline.

Ralph Kugler, the president of home and personal care at Unilever, commented that the guidelines are, "A response to growing societal concerns about the possible negative health effects that could occur should people pursue unhealthy or excessive slimness. Unilever believes in a healthy balanced diet and that both men and women have the right to feel comfortable with their bodies and not suffer from lack of self-esteem brought on by images of excessive slimness."

The company announced the voluntary plan for a marketing overhaul with its current focus on health. Unilever will advertise healthier products to children aged six to eleven to promote their “Choices/Eat Smart " Drink Smart” program. The commitment builds on its restriction not to directly target its marketing to children younger than six.

Ice cream brands owned by the company including Breyer’s, Ben & Jerry's, Magnum and Solero will cease advertising geared toward children.

Vindi Banga, the president of foods at Unilever, said the restriction was a "further step in responding to growing concerns about rising levels of obesity and dietary deficiency - particularly among children".

With consumer health in mind, the company has been working on improving the nutrition of its products. Since 2005 Unilever has removed 17,416 tons of sugar, 3,017 tons of sodium, 30,485 tons of trans-fat and 7,125 tons of saturated fat from its products.

Unilever is third among the top global food companies, behind Nestle and Kraft, and spent more than 5 billion euros ($6.77 billion) last year on advertising and promotion, according to Dutch media. News

>> Original Article
>> Unilever Press Release

@ 11:43am ET on May 10, 2007
That what the power of the pocket book and speaking up can do... has nothing to do with government restrictions! It is the voice of consumers speaking loud!

@ 12:18pm ET on May 10, 2007
Way to go for this company responding to a problem and being responsiable! And like breezy said no government interference to cause it! (now if moms just keep the ben and jerrys out of their kids mouth lol)

@ 4:26pm ET on May 10, 2007
This is beyond fantastic - they can count on my dollars!

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