Masterfoods, the maker of chocolate brands including Mars, Snickers and Milky Way, is to stop advertising its products to children under the age of 12 by the end of the year.

“We have decided to make an official policy change to a cut-off age of 12 years for all our core products,” the manufacturer said in a letter to Robert Madelin, the European Commission's director-general for health and consumer protection.

Masterfoods already has a policy not to target advertising at children under the age of six.