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New advertising code focuses on children and food

New advertising code focuses on children and food

A new code called the Children’s Code for Advertising Food was launched this morning by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The code is intended to provide clear guidance to advertising agencies, marketers and consumers on food advertising with strong appeal to children.

The code requires advertisers to take special care with this kind of advertising, to uphold the role of parents in educating their children to have a balanced diet, and not to mislead about the nutritional value of any food.

The changes come out of a review of the three-year old codes, conducted by a panel of public, industry and government representatives and initiated last year by the ASA. The Code for Advertising of Food and the Code for Advertising to Children have also been updated.

A robust 12 month review process considered 46 submissions from a broad range of stakeholders including Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, the Cancer Society, the Ministry of Health, the Green Party, McDonalds Restaurants New Zealand Ltd, and the Marketing Department of the University of Otago.

ASA Executive Director Hilary Souter said the new code reflects a desire for industry, government and NGOs to work collectively in the best interests of children’s health and there had been broad support from submitters for this approach.

“The Code specifies, and enforces, the high degree of responsibility the public expect of advertising agencies and marketers toward children.”

Other changes include:

• Not promoting inactive or unhealthy lifestyles

• Not undermining the importance of consuming a variety of foods

• Taking care not to mislead about foods low in sugar or fat regarding energy content or health benefits

The ASA will be providing information and conducting a “how to” seminar to provide advertisers and agencies with practical advice on how to adhere to the codes, Souter said.

The new codes can be found at www.asa.co.nz .

ENDS


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