We have also signed on to industry-led voluntary initiatives through several global, regional and national Pledge Programs. These programs are all based on the principle that signatories advertise only products that meet specific common nutrition criteria to children under the age of 12. In the event there are conflicts between PepsiCo’s Advertising to Children Criteria, and any Pledge Program common nutrition criteria and/or any applicable laws, PepsiCo will apply the strictest criteria for each nutrition category.
Around the world, each division and region within PepsiCo has a process for reviewing and approving marketing campaign materials to, among other things, drive compliance with our Responsible Advertising to Children Policy and Pledge Programs. While these processes may vary, they all typically require cross-functional review, consultation and approval prior to the release of any content. This review is aimed at ensuring our campaigns are in compliance with local laws, clear and truthful, not misleading, in line with our Values and Code of Conduct and are appropriately handling sensitive topics.
PepsiCo monitors and reports compliance with our Responsible Advertising to Children Policy. Accordingly, many of our Pledge Programs around the globe have measured compliance with our Responsible Advertising to Children Policy. For example, in 2016 we were compliant with our U.S. and Canada Advertising to Children Pledges, as verified by the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative in the U.S. and by Advertising Standards in Canada. We achieved 95 percent compliance with our responsible Advertising to Children Policy, as verified by Accenture, in globally representative markets such as Colombia, India, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa in the third quarter of 2016, and in six EU countries in the first quarter of 2017. In all cases, these compliance figures represent the latest available data.
Outside of the U.S., PepsiCo’s global policy for beverage sales in schools focuses on providing water, juice, milk and low-calorie beverages for students. PepsiCo-owned bottling operations offer nutritious hydration options for students and work with schools to eliminate full-calorie soft drinks in primary and secondary schools. We work with our independent franchise bottlers, third-party vending companies and other PepsiCo beverage distributors, as well as schools and local authorities, to apply this policy beyond PepsiCo's direct operations. It should be noted that because our policies alone cannot determine the actions of businesses outside our operational control, our products sometimes may be sold in schools by independent third parties. However, we view our policy as an opportunity to engage our industry peers and local authorities in adopting similar policies. It will ultimately take a collaborative, industry-wide effort to ensure consistently more nutritious options in schools.
Through our bottling partners and third-party distributors in the U.S., PepsiCo Beverages North America offers schools a portfolio of low-calorie and nutritious beverage choices. This wide variety of products includes bottled waters, juices, no- or low-calorie carbonated soft drinks, juice-flavored drinks and iced teas. From the list of products we make available, and subject to limitations imposed based on grade levels, schools then decide which beverages to make available, and where and when they are sold.
PepsiCo Food Service helps K-12 schools offer nutritious food choices to their students. Although we do not decide which foods are available on school campuses — schools do — and we do not sell foods directly to schools — food distributors, vending companies and other independent businesses do — we believe this policy helps us play an important role in helping students have access to nutritious food choices while at school.