Marketing Message (Rich Description) Guidelines

The NPC field Trade Item Marketing Message (sometimes referred to as "rich description") is primarily used by retailers to support the online sale of products.

Marketing Message is an attribute field in GS1’s National Product Catalogue (NPC) and is a mandatory field to be loaded into the NPC to be published to Foodstuffs and Woolworths NZ.

Foodstuffs and Woolworths NZ in consultation with GS1 have agreed on a set of guidelines, in addition to the definition in our Data Dictionary.

Both retailer's systems receive the Trade Item Marketing Message via NPC, however they do not automatically flow online. Both retailers reserve the right to modify your marketing message as it appears on their website, or otherwise in their business.


1. Grammatically correct

Messaging should be grammatically correct and have no spelling mistakes

NB: "Grammarly" is a great tool to check Grammar and spellings

2. Remove un-validated claims

Remove any claims that cannot be validated and therefore should not be advertised on the retailer's website.

For example: "XXX product is the best!" or "XXX product is better than ZZZ"

However, if the product has won any awards, then it's okay to include in the message but the year of the award must be stated.

3. Comparative claims need a reference

For example: "the product has 10% more protein" It should also state in comparison to (an older product, a different variant etc.)

4. Remove Country of Origin Claims (Applicable only to Food articles only)

Remove any Country of Origin Claims from the marketing message

For Example: "made from 100% NZ Milk"

Note: such claims are presented outside of the marketing message portion of the product web page

5. Remove contact information

Remove any website or contact information including Social media URLs and alike

6. Character Count Restriction

The briefer the Marketing Message the better, ideally no more than 300 to 500 characters long.

Note - technically the NPC can accept messages up to 4000 characters long.

7. Current with the product formulation

The marketing message must be updated if the marketing message references an ingredient or attribute of the product that has changed as a result of either a formulation, packaging or portion size change

8. No offensive commentary

9. Messages pertinent to the selling unit only

Marketing message must pertain to the selling unit i.e. the pack the ultimate consumer will purchase and sold in a physical sale processed by the retailer through the point of sale at checkout.

10. Formatting

To be ingested by the National Product Catalogue (NPC) correctly each separate statement should be separated by a semi colon “ ; “

11. Own Label Products

If you supply own label products and publish these to either Foodstuffs or Woolworths NZ, you are not required to load Marketing Message.  That will remain the responsibility of the retailer who is the brand owner in this case.


Created:  20 Nov 2019 v1.0                                                      Last Review:  20/11/2019

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