BAI announces plans to launch draft code on advertising of food and drink to children

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (15th March) announced that it will launch a public consultation at the end of March on rules governing how food and drink should be commercially promoted to children in the broadcast media. The rules will be included in the draft revised BAI Children’s Commercial Communications Code.

The draft code is currently being prepared by the BAI and it will draw on the responses received as a result of a public consultation that was conducted in the autumn.

The draft code is being developed, under the BAI’s obligations as set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009. Under the existing rules, commercial communications, which are of particular interest to children or those broadcast during children’s programmes, are required to be responsible in their messaging and portrayal of food and drink to those aged under 18. Commercial communications include advertising, sponsorship and product placement.

According to Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BAI, “In approaching our review of the Children’s Commercial Code, we are giving due regard to all responses received in the initial consultation phase that was conducted in the autumn.  We are also taking into account our obligation to have regard to the public health interests of children and are seeking to ensure that any proposed changes to the existing rules are proportionate and resilient.”

“At this point, the BAI has not proposed a ban on the advertising on any food or drink prior to 9pm.  In this regard, the statement by Charlie Flanagan T.D. on this matter is inaccurate,” he said.

The BAI intends to publish a new draft of the Children’s Commercial Code on 30th March and will open another round of consultation to secure the views of the public and other stakeholders on the draft code.

Media Queries to:
Catherine Heaney

DHR Communications
01-420 0580