Food & beverage advertising
Australia has a stringent self-regulatory system for food and beverage advertising to adults and children. Self-regulatory Codes that apply to food and beverage advertising are:
- AANA Code of Ethics
- AANA Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code
- AANA Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children
These Codes have been negotiated with government, industry and advertisers to ensure appropriate advertising of food choices. Costs to handle consumer complaints are borne by industry.
As of November 2021, the Quick Services Restaurant Initiative (QSRI) and the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative (RCMI) have been consolidated into the AANA Food and Beverages Advertising Code. This ensures the same rules apply to all advertisers.
The AANA Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code aims to ensure that advertisers develop and maintain a high sense of social responsibility in advertising food and beverage products.
It covers a range of provisions, including:
- Truthful and honest claims
- Not undermining the importance of a healthy lifestyle
- Health and nutrition claims
- Taste and preference claims
- Claims relating to characteristics of the product
- Advertising to children
Section 2 - Advertising for food or beverage products:
- must not be misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.
- must not undermine the importance of healthy or active lifestyles nor the promotion of healthy balanced diets or encourage what would reasonably be considered to be excess consumption through the representation of product/s or portion sizes disproportionate to the setting/s portrayed or by means otherwise regarded as contrary to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
- that include what an Average Consumer might interpret as a Health Claim or Nutrition Content Claim must be supportable by appropriate scientific evidence meeting the requirements of the Australian Food Standards Code.
- including claims relating to material characteristics such as taste, size, content, nutrition and health benefits, must be specific to the promoted product/s.
- not intended or suitable as substitutes for meals must not portray them as such.
Section 3 – Advertising & Children
- Advertising (including sponsorship advertising) of Occasional Food or Beverage Products must not target Children.
- Sponsorship advertising that targets children must not show an Occasional Food or Beverage Product, or such product packaging, or depict the consumption of an Occasional Food or Beverage Product.
- Advertising of Food or Beverage Products featuring a promotional offer of interest to Children must not create a sense of urgency or encourage the purchase or consumption of an excessive quantity.
- Advertisers must not give to Children as awards or prizes Occasional Food or Beverage Products or vouchers that can be used for Occasional Food or Beverage Products.
For more information on these Sections read the AANA Practice Note.