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Children likely to watch TV outside Programme Zone

Press Release Date 3 May 2007


Children likely watch TV outside Programme Zone

The Obesity Action Coalition believes that the new voluntary code announced today by Minister's Hodgson and Maharey doesn't go far enough and is likely to have no effect at all on the food advertising that children actually see on TV.

Leigh Sturgiss, Executive Director of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) said, "The Broadcaster's Council is introducing a "Getting it Right" guide to children's television advertising. This includes a children's food rating. Only products that receive this rating will be allowed to be shown in programmes directed at kids. Sounds great, except the designated children's programmes zones don't in any way actually reflect when children are actually watching TV."

"According to research carried out in 2005 by the Broadcaster's Council, real world peak viewing time for children aged 5 - 13 is from 6.30pm - 8.45pm on weekdays and from 6.30pm - 9.00pm on weekends. The zones suggested in the new code finish at 5.30pm during the week on TV2 and 4.30pm on TV3," Leigh Sturgiss said.

"This voluntary code only looks at television advertising, TV is just one way kids get marketing messages. Websites, print media, cell phone texts, sponsorship branding and even curriculum materials in schools are other ways food manufactures reach and influence children," said Leigh Sturgiss.

The Obesity Action Coalition would like to see substantial restrictions on how unhealthy foods are marketed and promoted, especially to children.

"We don't want a total ban on food advertising - as it can also be used to promote healthy food," says Ms Sturgiss. "If advertising were only used to promote healthy food it could help prevent obesity, many obesity-related diseases like diabetes and some cancers, and ultimately provide savings to tax-payer funded health services."


ENDS

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