ASA adopts new kids code

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The Advertising Standards Authority has adopted a new, comprehensive Children & Young Persons Advertising Code, following recommendations from an independent panel.

The new code replaces the Code for Advertising to Children and the Children’s Code for Advertising Food and for the first time will cover all advertising to children and young people.

It has rules about identifying commercial messaging, and restrictions around the depiction of anti-social behaviour, sexual imagery and unrealistic body images and occasional food & beverage advertising.

The ASA governance board acknowledged the significant work undertaken by the independent panel and its advocacy supporting a code for under-18s.

“Following a second round of consultation, the ASA has finalised the new code,” said ASA chair Heather Roy (a former ACT deputy leader). “The changes clearly define what targeting children or young people in advertising means. The ASA has confirmed the Food & Beverage Classification System as the interim nutrient profiling system to identify occasional food and beverage products.” said ASA Chair, Hon. Heather Roy.

The new code comes into force on Monday 3 July. The ASA is undertaking extensive training for advertisers, agencies and the media to help support a high level of compliance.

All advertising to children and young people must comply with the code from 2 October 2017.

The independent panel was chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Sir Bruce Robertson, and included senior representatives from the health sector and industry, along with the deputy chair of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board, accountant Phil Broughton.

  • The code in full (with guidance notes) here

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