Children are a vulnerable audience. Advertising to children must be responsible and sensitive to their needs and levels of understanding.
Codes that apply to advertising to children:
- AANA Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children (Children’s Code)
The Children’s Code applies to advertising which is directed primarily to children for goods or services which are targeted toward and have principal appeal to children.
- AANA Food and Beverages Advertising Code (Food and Beverages Code)
Section 3 of the Food and Beverages Code applies to advertising food and beverages to children.
How is it decided if an ad is directed primarily to children?
Whether an ad is directed primarily to children is based on a number of factors, including:
- the product or service being advertised
- themes, visuals and language
- the storyline
- the age of actors and characters
- the call to action
- the expected audience
- the advertising medium.
For more detail and guidance read the Advertising and Marketing to Children: Practice Note and AANA Food and Beverages Advertising Code: Practice Note.
Examples of previous decisions
The Community Panel has found a breach of the Children’s Code the following cases:
- Advertising which depicts a premium (free product with purchase) as the main product but does not adequately explain to children how the product can be obtained.
- Coles – 0116-20
- Coles – 0116-20
The Community Panel has found a breach of Section 3 of the Food and Beverages Code in the following cases:
- Advertising occasional food and beverage products where the visuals and themes in the ad are of significant appeal to children.
The Community Panel found that the following ads did not breach the Children’s Code or the Food and Beverages Code:
- While the food of beverage product in the ad may be appealing to children, the ad itself is not directed primarily to children.
- The product being advertised is not of principal appeal to children.
- The use of animation does not necessarily mean the advertising is directed primarily to children.