Three New International Food Advertising Restrictions

Food marketing is facing increasing challenges around the globe. Over the past few weeks, we have seen new restrictions endorsed or put into place in Israel, France, and the UK. In Israel, the Health Ministry's Regulatory Committee for Promotion of Healthy Nutrition submitted recommendations that call for new regulations. The Committee proposed that all food products carry a green or red sticker indicating whether they are healthy and specifying the level of health risks associated with nutrients. The Committee also endorsed limiting the advertising and marketing of “harmful” food on television, radio, newspapers, and online.

In France, the Senate adopted a legislative proposal, which will go into effect January 1, 2018, to ban commercial advertising 15 minutes before and after TV programs for children under 12 on public broadcasting. According to the new law, the ban will also apply to the websites of public broadcasters offering programs designed for children under 12. The national broadcasting stations will be requested to publish an annual report on advertising self-regulation in children’s programs on private channels.

The UK’s new rules will restrict all non-broadcast media advertising of food high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS) to children starting July 1, 2017. Advertising directly or indirectly promoting an HFSS product will be banned in children’s media and in media where children make up over 25% of the audience. The new restrictions cover digital (websites, video-sharing platforms, advergames), print, and cinema. In addition, the use of promotions, licensed characters, and celebrities popular with children will be banned in conjunction with HFSS products.

ANA is a member of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and we work with them to fight for marketers’ rights in regard to these and other onerous food advertising regulations. These new rules and other advertising regulations will be discussed at the upcoming 2017 ANA Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference on March 28-29 in Washington, DC.