BAI Signals new rules to govern advertising of food and drink in children’s advertising

The BAI has, today (12th October), announced the outcomes of a public consultation undertaken on the rules to be applied to the advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink to children. The rules will come into effect on July 1st2013 and will apply to all radio and television broadcasters regulated in the Republic of Ireland. In this regard:-

  • The BAI has agreed to adopt the Nutrient Profiling Model as proposed in its recent consultation. This model will be used to determine whether a food or drink being advertised is one that is high in fat, salt or sugar and subject to additional regulation by the BAI.

Upon the recommendation of the Department of Health, advertisements and other commercial communications for cheese will be exempted from the model. This means that the rules being introduced by the BAI and applying to HFSS food and drink will not apply to advertisements for cheese. Instead, the BAI is adopting the recommendation of the Department of Health that adverts for cheese will include an on-screen message indicating the recommended maximum daily consumption limit for cheese.

  • The BAI has decided to adopt the rules proposed in the Draft Children’s Commercial Communications Code in respect to the HFSS food and drink. These rules state that commercial communications for HFSS food and drink shall not be permitted in children’s programmes as defined by the Code.

In addition, content rules will apply to commercial communications for HFSS food and drink that are broadcast outside of children’s programmes but which are directed at children. Such communications 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;

  • The BAI has decided to adopt the rule proposed in the Draft General Commercial Communications Code in respect of HFSS food and drink. In this regard, a maximum of 25% of sold advertising time and only one in four advertisements for HFSS food products and/or services products are permissible across the broadcast day.





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Speaking about the new rules, BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe said: “The development of these revised codes has been completed following one of the most extensive consultations undertaken by the BAI. The consultation was initiated in September 2011 with a public consultation on a report prepared by a specially commissioned working group established to examine the matter.  In March, draft codes were published and a second round of public consultation was undertaken.  The BAI also facilitated face-to-face consultation meetings with key stakeholders.“The key area of the draft code which has now been amended is the removal of cheese from the nutrient profiling model. This was done on the basis that the pre-eminent health body in the State, the Department of Health, recommended this approach given the health benefits and the economic and cultural significance of cheese in an Irish context. On behalf of the BAI, I would like to thank all those who took the time to inform us of their views on this new regulation.”The rules will be finalised in the coming months and formally launched by the BAI in January 2013. In addition, the BAI will instigate a number of measures prior to the July implementation date with a view to assisting broadcasters and industry with the adoption of the new rules.

Media Queries

Catherine Heaney/ Tony Heffernan

DHR Communications

087 2309835/ 087 2399508

Note to Editors:

Food and drink restricted by the new rules

The following are some of the types of food and drink whose promotion to children will be restricted:

  • Potato crisps
  • Most breakfast cereals;
  • Biscuits and cakes;
  • Confectionery;
  • French fries;
  • Most pizzas;
  • Mayonnaise;
  • Cola and other carbonated sweetened drinks;
  • Most sausages and burgers;
  • Butter and margarine;
  • Sweetened milkshakes and sweetened fruit juices.

Advertisements for the above food and drink will not be permitted in children’s programmes.

Advertisements for these products and services that are broadcast outside of children’s programme and are directed at children will be required to comply with the content rules.