6 December 2011
An ACMA report found there are continuing community concerns about food and beverage advertising to children. The report also highlights it is still unclear if there has been any significant reduction in the level of children’s exposure to food and beverage advertising on free-to-air television since the introduction of the industry initiatives in 2009.
Industry self-regulation of food and beverage advertising to children reports on how industry has responded to community concerns expressed in the review of the Children’s Television Standards (CTS), which was completed in September 2009.
Following its review of the CTS, the ACMA monitored two industry initiatives that were developed in response to issues raised during public consultation:
Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI)—from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (effective from 1 January 2009)
Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children—from the Quick Service Restaurant Industry (QSR) (effective from 1 August 2009).
However, at this stage, the ACMA does not believe that these initiatives fully address concerns with how food is advertised to children.
The report welcomes the recent establishment of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA). The ANPHA has identified food marketing to children as a priority and will monitor food marketing to children. The ANPHA is responsible for preventive health programs and is ideally placed to promote a whole-of-government response to the complex health issue of obesity.
The ACMA will continue to investigate complaints about advertisements to children during children’s programming, including food and beverage advertisements.