Product communication

Our mission is to improve quality of life for as many people as we can through particular food and drink products. That doesn’t just mean healthier products and a balanced diet, as we also want to help ensure a healthier future through our own business practices. We can only fulfil our mission by gaining the long-term trust of our consumers and patients. To win this trust and to prove ourselves, we communicate in a responsible way – especially with children* – and always give top priority to food safety everywhere we operate. We are pursuing these goals globally as well as regionally in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region.


We pledge our commitment to responsible advertising in line with the International Chamber of Commerce’s Advertising and Marketing Communications Code for food and drink as well as with national and regional standards. Our approach covers all paid-for and unpaid-for means of communication, in particular materials used to advertise our brands and products to consumers and patients.

We pledge to ensure our marketing communication is lawful, honest and truthful at all times. Our nutritional information is also based on well-founded scientific knowledge. What does this mean?

  • We provide nutritional information that enables consumers to make well-informed nutritional choices
  • We focus on providing practical, user-friendly information that helps consumers, patients and their families to eat a healthy diet.
  • We provide reliable and clear information about product benefits.

In collaboration with industry associations, such as the World Federation of Advertisers and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), we support the development of general principles in this area and their inclusion into self-regulatory codes and systems on advertising and marketing worldwide.


When allocating our budget, we are committed to prioritising healthy products. 88% of our revenue come from health-promoting product categories which means we invest most of our marketing budget advertising such products. But that’s not all – we aim to increase our marketing budget for health-promoting products and better alternatives worldwide over the coming years thanks to our Nutrition Commitments.

Each year in our reading materials (our Nutrition & Health Achievements Leaflet and our integrated report) we publish the percentage our marketing budget used to advertise health-promoting product categories and the healthiest products in our range.

We are aware that chronic illnesses related to diet and lifestyle are widespread. That’s why, out of principle, we avoid any kind of message that could encourage excessive consumption of a product or lead people to seek an unhealthy lifestyle. That’s why we’re committed to only presenting our products as part of a well-balanced diet.

We specifically avoid using size-zero models and actors in our advertising. Our statement reads: We do not support any unhealthy thinness ideal and ensure diversity in our advertising.

Our commitment to responsible product communication applies to the following three areas in particular:



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Research has shown that marketing and advertising influences the purchasing behaviour and eating habits of children under the age of 12.

As a founding member of the EU Pledge (2007) and signatory to the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) Global Policy on Marketing Communications to Children, Danone has restricted its marketing communication to children under the age of 13 to ensure they only come into contact with products that comply with the legal provisions, national regulations or generally recognised food standards used in the industry:

  • Legal provisions, national guidelines or other accepted food standards used in the industry that apply regionally or locally.

  • The common nutritional criteria of the EU Pledge if no such standards exist.

Since 2021, the common EU nutritional criteria – with a lower limit for the total sugar content of dairy products – have applied worldwide to all marketing communications aimed at children and replace all voluntary local standards that are less stringent. 

We promote adequate fluid intake for children through direct marketing communication for natural water brands and do not aim any marketing communication for drinks containing sugar at children under the age of 13.

Our marketing policy can be found here. Our marketing principles for children include:


  • No misleading messages

  • No undermining of parental influence

  • No creation of time or price minimisation pressure

  • No exploitation of children’s power of imagination or naivety

  • No promotion of unhealthy dietary habits


In specific terms, Danone applies the rules set out in our Danone Pledge on Marketing to Children.



* Refers to paid-for and unpaid-for communication developed by Danone with the intention of advertising its products to children under the age of 13 for which all print media (newspapers, magazines, printed advertising in public spaces), all broadcast media (traditional television, radio), all non-broadcast electronic and/or digital media (its own websites and the websites of third parties, social media, mobile and SMS marketing, native online marketing, games and apps, CDs/DVDs) as well as all marketing in shops or at the point of sale, including packaging. Sponsorship (e.g. of sporting, entertainment or cultural events/activities). All other forms of marketing (cinema, outdoor advertising, product placement in films, TV programmes, etc.). It is assumed that Danone’s marketing communication is aimed at children under the age of 13 if they make up at least 30% of the target group.



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In 2002, Danone introduced an internal company policy that applies to all categories. It ensures the consistency, credibility and scientific accuracy of health and nutritional messages contained in any of our communications. All commercial communications that contain health-related or nutritional information and which are aimed at the public, customers, patients or healthcare professionals must be validated in accordance with this policy – including joint advertising campaigns and promotional sales campaigns where one of our brands is named or implied.

To ensure the consistency and robustness of communication with consumers and healthcare professionals, we define communications guidelines and implement them in accordance with local legislation. Communication is carried out in compliance with the applicable legislations, local practices and the code of conduct for proven procedures and ethics. It is in line with the image of the brand concerned and the Danone Nutrition Commitments nutritional or health-related information is based on scientific evidence.


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We support the WHO’s global recommendation to give infants only breast milk during the first six months of life and to continue doing so even after the introduction of supplementary foods. That’s why we comply with the WHO code as enshrined in national legislation. We market our products responsibly and in no way present them as equal or even superior to breast milk.

Our product communication should enable parents who do not (only) feed their infant with breast milk to make an objective decision on the various products. We do not aim to encourage parents to decide against breastfeeding based on our information. In this respect, we have defined a stringent, industry-leading company policy on the marketing of infant food that even goes beyond national legal provisions in many areas.

Our efforts to ensure responsible communication are also recognised by highly regarded, independent institutions: In the current ratings of the ‘Access to Nutrition’ Index in 2018 and 2021, Danone occupied first place in the ‘Index for the Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (BMS) and Complementary Foods (CF)’. The index evaluates the extent to which the product marketing of infant food manufacturers complies with the WHO code.

We adhere to strict marketing guidelines but know we’re not always perfect in our day-to-day activities. That’s why we take any indications of non-compliance with our guidelines seriously and follow them up. Reported violations with specific corrective measures are published annually on All errors reported over the past 10 years are transparently displayed here. The practical implementation of our guidelines is also audited annually by third parties, such as Bureau Veritas. We always strive for continual improvement.


In view of the fact that corruption holds back social and economic development, has an adverse impact on education and healthcare systems and causes poverty, it’s easy to understand the contribution that our ethics and compliance programme makes to our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision.

By promoting an ethical compliance culture and conveying values based on integrity, this policy is one of the driving forces behind the development of talented people within our organisation. At Danone, we firmly believe that a strong ethical culture strengthens consumer trust in our brand portfolio and makes a sustainable contribution to our performance.

We continually monitor our compliance and take corrective measures where necessary.

Regular audits and our anonymous reporting system help us in this task.

We carry out rigorous checks on our communication with children – both internally through the Danone Way as well as through the many local and regional agreements we have made.

In most of the countries concerned worldwide, compliance with this commitment is verified by an external body.