New rules surrounding food and drink product advertisements to children on radio come into force today, introduced by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice. They are similar to the recent tightening of the food advertising rules for TV and non-broadcast media designed to protect children’s health.
Most of the rules apply to all children, defined as persons under the age of 16, but the BCAP has created a set of tighter rules to protect primary school and pre-school children. As a result, the rules ban the use of celebrities and licensed characters, promotional offers and health or nutrition claims in food or drink advertisements directly targeted at those age groups through their content.
The rules means commercials should not encourage or condone excessive consumption of any food, encourage poor nutritional habits or suggest that snacks such as chocolate bars may be substituted for balanced meals.
The Chairman of BCAP, Andrew Brown, says: “This is a significant milestone, with a strict, consistent and sound set of principles now applying across all media. The advertising industry has responded to Government and public concern about rising levels of childhood obesity and demonstrated its commitment to playing its part in tackling the problem through the formulation of stringent advertising rules.”
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