Food adverts for children fall to almost zero
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 14:55

Advertisements for high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods have fallen to almost zero (0.7 per cent) of all food and beverage advertisements on children’s television in Australia, according to new research released by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today.

The independent study found just 0.7 per cent of all HFSS food and beverage adverts on children’s TV between March to May 2011 targeted children aged under the age of 12 – a 60 per cent decrease compared with last year, according to Australian advertising information service Commercial Monitors.

The data analysis covered free-to-air television (including digital TV) from five major capital cities Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney over a 24 hour period over 92 days.

AFGC Acting Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison said the compelling statistics showed a major improvement process for industry as well as highlighted the ongoing success of industry’s Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI), which has been running since 2009.

Under the RCMI, 17 leading food manufacturers have committed not to advertise to children under 12, unless they promoted nutritious dietary choices and a healthy lifestyle.

“The latest advertising figures confirm that adverts are not running during TV programs aimed at children,” Dr Annison said.

Dr Annison said the figures underscore the value of industry codes in moderating the way food manufacturers promote their products, consistent with similar experiences internationally.

“Notwithstanding this, AFGC and its members are always looking to improve the way codes operate and their effectiveness,” Dr Annison said.

“Industry looks forward to continuing discussions with Government and public health advocates to ensure the RCMI is aligned with community expectations, remains practical for industry to implement and is successful in supporting better diets and health outcomes for all Australians.”

Read the RCMI Activity Report 2011 here


Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI)

Seventeen leading Australian food manufacturers have now signed up to AFGC’s Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative, which came into effect on January 1, 2009.  The 17 signatory companies include:

  • Campbell Arnott’s
  • Cereal Partners Worldwide (Australia)
  • Coca-Cola South Pacific
  • Ferrero Australia
  • Fonterra Australia
  • General Mills Australia
  • George Weston Foods Limited (includes AB Food and Beverages Australia Pty Ltd)
  • Kraft Food Australia/New Zealand (incorporating Cadbury)
  • Kellogg Australia
  • Mars Snackfood Australia (now Mars Chocolate Australia)
  • Lion Nathan National Foods
  • Nestle Australia
  • Patties Foods
  • PepsiCo Australia
  • Sanitarium Health Food Company
  • Simplot Australia
  • Unilever Australasia.

As well as requiring compliance with all codes, AFGC’s advertising initiative applies to all forms of media and is underpinned by a rigorous and transparent compliance program with complaints administered by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

More information: Brad Watts AFGC Director Media and Public Affairs 0437 379 818.