The 1 December 2021, was the date that the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) set to bring into force its new rules and guidance around the advertising and marketing of “High Fat, Salt, and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink products to children”.
The new rules form part of an existing ASAI Code targeted at children under the age of 15 through a selection of media channels. Below is a summary of the new restrictions and what they will mean for marketing and advertising HFSS food and drinks in Ireland:
- HFSS products are not permitted to be placed in media channels that target children or where 50% of the audience is children,
- Locations primarily used by children should also be kept free of all forms of marketing communications of HFSS products such as nurseries, schools, etc.
- When marketing communications are permitted for HFSS products then they are only permitted subject to the media-specific placement rules including maximum thresholds for “each medium” such as cinema’s, print media, and digital/ social media, with only 25% of the total advertising space to be allocated to HFSS products.
Both the UK and Ireland now have established HFSS marketing and advertisement restrictions for these food and drink products, the EU is lagging behind on this initiative and many European NGO’s have called for the EU parliament to pass laws that will govern across member states “unhealthy” foods and their advertisement to children.
It is thought that HFSS food and drinks will rapidly become part of the EU’s agenda, especially around marketing and advertisement.
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