Public Affairs Ireland | Training and Development | Conferences

The BAI has published the results of the public consultation on the Commercial Communications Codes Review (Children’s Advertising).

This consultation sought views on what rules should be applied to the advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink to children.

According to the results of the consultation, the BAI will adopt the Nutrient Profiling Model to determine whether food is high in fat, salt and/or sugar and should be subject to additional regulation by the BAI.

It will adopt then rules proposed in the Draft Children’s Commercial Communications Code in respect to these HFSS food and drink. These rules state that the advertising of HFSS food and drink shall not be permitted in children’s programmes.

In addition to this, advertising aimed at children outside of children’s programmes will also be regulated. This means that the advertising of HFSS foods to children cannot include celebrities, sports stars, programme characters, or licensed characters, from cinema releases for example. These adverts are also banned from making health or nutrition claims, or promotional offers.

The BAI has also decided to limit the volume of adverts for HFSS foods by stipulating that only of 25 percent of advertising sold by a broadcaster can be for HFSS food and drink.

The controversy surrounding cheese and whether it should be included in the HFSS food category has also been resolved with it being decided that adverts for cheese will be exempt from the new regulations.

According to BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe this decision was taken following recommendations by the Department of Health and also “given the health benefits and the economic and cultural significance of cheese in an Irish context”.

The new rules will be finalised in the coming months and formally launched by the BAI in January 2013.

HFSS foods, as determined by the Nutrient Profiling Model, include items such as potato crisps; most breakfast cereals; biscuits and cakes; confectionery; french fries; most pizzas; mayonnaise; cola and other carbonated sweetened drinks; most sausages and burgers; butter and margarine; and sweetened milkshakes and sweetened fruit juices.