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TV food ad guidelines for children welcomed

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Broadcasting
Hon Damien O’Connor
Associate Minister of Health

15 May 2008 Media Statement

TV food ad guidelines for children welcomed

Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor today welcomed new television food advertising guidelines for children as a step forward in tackling New Zealand’s obesity problems.

The New Zealand Television Broadcasters’ Council (NZTBC) today launched a new Children’s Food Classification System as part of the guidelines for television advertisements, Getting it Right for Children. NZTBC represents TV Works (TV3 and C4), Television New Zealand and Māori Television.

"It is promising to see the television industry take this step. The formulation of the guidelines is a flow on from an agreement between Labour-led government and broadcasters signed last May – one aspect of which was to introduce a new Children's Food rating to guide television advertising during children's viewing times," Trevor Mallard said.

Damien O'Connor said obesity was a serious public health issue and the broadcasters have taken a socially responsible approach in restricting children’s exposure to advertisements for unhealthy food.

“The new system gives a clear process for making decisions about what food and drink can be advertised during children’s programming times.

"The government has introduced a comprehensive programme aimed at promoting healthy kiwi lifestyles for our young people. We know that by improving nutrition and encouraging people to be physical active and to develop lifelong healthy eating and activity habits – that it will pay off in the long term. It is excellent to see broadcasters doing their bit in addressing this issue,” said Mr O’Connor.

From 1 July, new food or beverage advertisements shown at children's viewing times must be approved under the Children’s Food Classification System, with all advertisements to comply by 1 October. The classification system is in accordance with Ministry of Health standards on the product’s nutritional value.

Advertisers will apply to the Television Commercial Approvals Bureau to establish whether a food or beverage in an advertisement is ‘everyday’, ‘sometimes’ or ‘occasional’. The bureau will determine if and when advertisements for ‘occasional’ products can be screened.

The guidelines are available on www.nztbc.co.nz


ENDS

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