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22nd June 2022
AANA launches review of Children’s Advertising Code
AANA has launched a review of the Children’s Advertising Code to ensure that it continues to provide a robust framework for the regulation of advertising to children on all media platforms.
AANA CEO Julie Flynn said that children are an especially vulnerable group that require additional protection when it comes to advertising and marketing communications directed to them.
“How children perceive and react to advertising is influenced by their age, knowledge, experience and how the message is delivered,” said Julie Flynn.
“Given the rapid changes in the way children consume media it is time to revisit the rules to ensure they remain relevant and reflect community expectations.”
Rules for how brands can advertise products to children have been in place for more than 20 years. The rules prohibit the use of sexual appeal, the use of images that may frighten or distress children and prohibit the promotion of anything that relates to alcohol.
The rules also require advertisers to be clear and unambiguous in their messaging and require parental or guardian consent prior to collecting or disclosing a child’s personal information.
The rules apply to advertising of products or services which are targeted toward and have principal appeal to children. It covers advertising on all platforms including digital advertising and influencers.
“The Children’s Advertising Code provides essential protections and guardrails around how children’s products can be advertised to children in Australia,” Julie Flynn said. “Further protections for children exist within the overarching AANA Code of Ethics and Food and Beverage Advertising Code such as a ban on sexual appeal involving minors, restrictions on unsafe portrayals and unhealthy body image portrayals and a ban on occasional food and beverages ads targeting children.”
Complaints about advertising are handled by Ad Standards and are determined by the Ad Standards Community Panel, whose independent members are representative of the community. Complaints about issues raised under the Children’s Code represented less than 2 percent of total complaints in 2021.
“The low level of complaints that raise issues under the Children’s Advertising Code is a sign that brands advertising to children take the rules seriously,” said Julie Flynn.
AANA welcomes submissions to the review and encourages participants to read the accompanying Discussion Paper. Submissions close on 5 August 2022. The new Code is expected to come into effect in 2023.
For further information:
Megan McEwin, Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs.