Ian Thomas Associates

New advertising rules for food and drink in children’s advertising

On 12th October 2012 the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) announced new rules to be applied to the advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink to children.

The rules which will take effect from 1st July 2013 mean that commercial communications for HFSS food and drink shall not be permitted in children’s programmes as defined by the Code.

In respect of advertising for those foods outside of children’s programmes but which are directed at children shall not:

  • Include celebrities or sports stars;
  • Include programme characters e.g. Peppa Pig;
  • Include licensed characters e.g. characters and personalities from cinema
  • releases;
  • Contain health or nutrition claims;
  • Include promotional offers.

Foods will be assessed using a Nutrient Profiling Model developed by the UK Food Standards Agency. This will award points to a food or drink which will determine whether they are ‘less healthy’ and subject to the advertising restrictions or ‘healthier’ where the restrictions will not apply. 

HFSS foods which would be put in the ‘less healthy’ category include: Potato crisps, including low fat, most breakfast cereals, biscuits and cakes, confectionery, most sausages and burgers, French fries, most pizzas and cola and other carbonated sweetened drinks.

Healthier foods will be: Wholemeal and white bread, fresh and frozen fruit & vegetables, fresh and frozen unprocessed meat and fish, some yoghurts, fish fingers, diet cola and skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk.

The rules are expected to be finalised and launched in January 2013 and the BAI is expected to take steps to assist broadcasters and industry in the implementation of the rules.

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