The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has announced strong new rules for advertising to children.
The new Children’s Advertising Code extends safeguards to all advertising directed at children, addressing concerns from the community, government and industry.
AANA CEO Josh Faulks said the new Code recognises the distinct vulnerability of children and provides a robust framework for the advertising industry.
“The Code is no longer limited to advertising for children’s products and will provide critical protections around any advertising directed at children,” Faulks said.
“It places a clear ban on directing advertising of hazardous products to children such as vapes, kava or highly caffeinated drinks. It also prohibits the encouragement of unsafe practices, including bullying or promoting unhealthy body image, and the use of sexual appeal or imagery when communicating to children.”
The new Code pays special attention to the rise of ‘kidfluencers’ and influencer advertising directed at children.
“The rules go beyond Australian Consumer Law recognising the subtle, embedded nature of influencer advertising directed at children which research says lowers children’s ability to recognise it as advertising. It must now be immediately clear to a child that they are interacting with advertising content,” Faulks said.
The new Children’s Advertising Code will come into effect on 1 December 2023 and complements AANA’s Food & Beverage Advertising Code which already bans advertising of occasional food and beverages to children. This applies to all advertising, across all media channels at all times of the day.
To support Australian advertisers in complying with the new rules, AANA will provide comprehensive training to the industry. Additionally, AANA members have exclusive access to free advice and tailored training.
Complaints about advertising that raise issues under the Children’s Advertising Code are handled by Ad Standards and are determined by the independent Ad Standards Community Panel, whose members are representative of the Australian community.
Top image: Josh Faulks