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ISBA and our sister bodies in the advertising industry take the challenges related to advertising targeted at children and the related responsibilities very seriously. Advertising codes, here and globally, reflect the need to provide higher levels of protection for children.

Our codes provide this protection, defining children as under 16.

From July 2017 the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) implemented a host of 'tough new rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or soft drink products in children's media'.

The new rules reflect the outcomes of a full public consultation and serve to harmonise broadcast and non-broadcast codes and apply across all media, including digital, social media platforms and advergames.

Designed as a means to protect children and ensure that 'advertising regulation plays its part in tackling the public health challenges related to poor childhood diet and responds effectively to fundamental changes in the way children consumer media.'

This has been advertiser led and is very much something that came from advertisers and there has been tremendous support over the course of the formulation of the rules.

The new rules as outlined by CAP include:

  • Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media
  • Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience
  • Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options
  • The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS
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