Operation Eagle Eye is here! Saturday 1 July marks the date when the new Committee of Advertising Practice rules come in. These rules ban the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in traditional and online children’s media and other sites where children make up over 25% of the audience,
The media action around it now seems to be tomorrow (Friday). I have put together a press release, below. But I also have compiled a fuller briefing about
these new rules, which I will circulate tomorrow.
If you want to direct people to actions:
Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator, Children’s Food Campaign, said:
“After years of our campaigning on this issue we welcome these long-awaited new rules, which should hopefully stop some of the more blatant forms of advertising
junk food directly to children. But we have concerns about exactly how the rules will work in practice, especially online. We are also disappointed
that some criteria may still mean children remain exposed to a significant level of junk food marketing on websites and social media. In addition,
packaging, in-store promotion and sponsorship deals remain outside of the rules.”
“Past experience suggests that we will have a busy time ahead keeping a close eye on advertisers; submitting complaints; and challenging the Advertising
Standards Authority to clarify the grey areas and close down the loopholes. We know sweet and confectionery brands are among those most needing to
Children’s Food Campaign’s activity to support the new rules:
To coincide with the introduction of the new rules on 1 July, Children’s Food Campaign is:
1) Launching ‘Operation Eagle Eye’ - encouraging people to help
us keep a close eye on how food and soft drink companies are advertising their products; and submitting complaints to the ASA about specific ads where
2) Issuing a 10 point checklist to advertisers
to encourage best practice and help them meet the spirit and not just the letter of the new rules.
3) Asking the Advertising Standards Authority to conduct transparent monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the new rules, and fully
publish those findings in a timely manner; so that the rules can be properly assessed and politicians and the public can decide whether further interventions
are necessary. This did not happen satisfactorily with the ASA’s first review of its online remit in 2013.
4) Continuing to campaign to see those marketing techniques not currently covered by the new rules – including packaging, in-store promotion,
sponsorship, and in-school marketing – all brought under the same system.
5) Ensuring that – via initiatives such as our new Parents’ Jury – children’s and
parents’ voices continue to be heard in the policy debate.
For interviews, and for further information, please contact Malcolm Clark, co-ordination, Children’s Food Campaign, on 07733322148 or 020 7065 0902,
firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @childrensfood
Children’s Food Campaign has produced a briefing document about the new rules, alongside a list of examples of the types of adverts and techniques which
were allowed before but may not be from 1 July. Please email email@example.com to request a copy.
The Campaign aims to improve children and young people's health by campaigning for policy changes in our schools, in our communities and throughout our
society that would promote healthy and sustainable food environments. The Children's Food Campaign is supported by over 100 UK-wide and national organisations,
including public health professional bodies, trade unions, school food experts, children’s charities and environmental groups. We are a campaign of
the charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. www.childrensfood.org.uk
The new rules mean that:
The ASA will expect advertisers to make a case that they’ve targeted their ad responsibly and stuck to the rules. If an advertiser can’t be certain about
the audience of a particular platform or media, the ASA advises them to take a cautionary approach.
However, Children’s Food campaign’s concerns include:
In addition, the rules do not apply to packaging, in-store promotion, sports sponsorship, or industry-produced food education materials in schools.
Based on the text of past rulings by the Advertising Standards Authority, Children’s Food Campaign has drawn up a stronger and more transparent definition
of what constitutes advertising which has ‘particular appeal’ to children. We submitted this as an appendix to our consultation response to the Committee
of Advertising Practice in July 2016 (available on request). Now we are taking the top 10 points and reproducing them as a checklist for advertisers
who want to adhere to better practice and meet the spirit and not just the letter of the new rules.
We encourage advertisers promoting HFSS products or brands associated with HFSS products to avoid using any of these techniques:
1) Tie-ins with films and TV programmes popular with children
2) Cartoons and cartoon-like imagery that appeals to children
3) Child-friendly characters
4) Colourful and exaggerated style that appeals to children
5) Images of children
6) Characters which children aspire to be
7) Music / artists popular with children
8) Simple game play, or games with names appealing to children
9) Downloadable games / ringtones / screensavers
10) ‘Childlike’ or child-appealing ad wording
The Children's Food Campaign is also a member of the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) - a coalition of over 40 organisations committed to share expertise
and support Government to tackle the issue of overweight and obesity in the UK. http://obesityhealthalliance.org.uk The Obesity Health Alliance has issued the following statement:
“The new rules acknowledge it is wrong to advertising junk food to children, but only take a small step in the right direction. For too long children have been relentlessly bombarded with junk food adverts online, on billboards outside schools and at the cinema.But just like the problems with current TV rules, we are concerned they don’t go far enough and loopholes mean they only apply when over 25% of the audience is children. This will be impossible to monitor and mean millions of children still be exposed to adverts which we know leads them too unhealthy food choices. Now we need rules that are fit for purpose, that reflect the way our children watch and engage with media online and on TV.”
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.
BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.
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