Advertising to children

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:

The Children’s Code applies to any advertising that targets children.

Whether an ad targets children is determined by the context of the ad and the following three criteria:  

  1. Nature and intended purpose of the product being promoted is principally or significantly appealing to children. 
  2. Presentation of the advertisement content (e.g. theme, images, colours, wording, music and language used) is principally appealing to children. 
  3. Expected average audience at the time or place the advertisement appears includes a significant proportion of children. 

Section 3 of the Food and Beverages Code applies to advertising food and beverages to children.

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.

The Community Panel has found a breach of Section 3 of the Food and Beverages Code in the following cases:

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.
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