Who are the industry players involved in self-regulation?
Free TV Australia
Free TV Australia is the industry body representing all free-to-air commercial television broadcasters.
Advertising Standards Bureau
The Advertising Standards Bureau is funded by the advertising industry to oversee and administer complaints made in relation to several regulatory codes that have been developed by the following industry bodies:
the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), who represent the rights and responsibilities of companies and individuals involved in Australia's advertising, marketing and media industry.
the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), who represent Australia's packaged food, drink and grocery products manufacturers.
the Quick Service Restaurant Industry (QSRI), who represent a collective of ‘fast food' companies, including big chains such as McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack's, and Red Rooster.
What codes do they oversee?
On this page:
Commercial TV Code of PracticeCode for Advertising & Marketing Communications to ChildrenFood & Beverages Advertising & Marketing Communications CodeResponsible Children's Marketing InitiativeAustralian QSRI Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children
Commercial TV Code of Practice
The Commercial TV Code of Practice was jointly developed by Free TV Australia and the ACMA. The Code of Practice requires advertisements to comply with the Children's Television Standards. Unlike the Standards however, it is not directly enforceable by the ACMA.
Complaints under the Code of Practice must first be made to the broadcaster of the advertisement. Complaints may then be referred to ACMA if not dealt with satisfactorily by the broadcaster.
Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children
Administered by the AANA, the Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children provides a set of rules for the content of advertisements that are primarily directed to children under 14 years old.
Food & Beverages Advertising & Marketing Communications Code
The Food and Beverages Advertising & Marketing Communications Code is also administered by the AANA. This Code contains specific rules on food and beverage advertising to children. These rules are very narrow and do very little in practice to restrict food advertising to children.
Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative
In 2009, a number of AFGC member companies including (but not limited to) Cadbury, Campbell Arnott's, Coca-Cola, Ferrero, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, Patties, Pepsico, and Sanitarium signed up to a voluntary code, the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative.
Under this Initiative, signatories have pledged to cease marketing ‘unhealthy' foods and drinks specifically to children under 12 years old. However, the Initiative does not specify one standard criteria for ‘unhealthy' foods and drinks. Instead it is up to each of the 16 signatories to identify and abide by their chosen criteria.
It is interesting to note that the AFGC defines marketing to children as being "where the audience is predominantly children under 12 and/or the program or media, having regard to the theme, visuals, and language used, are directed primarily to children."
To determine if the audience is 'predominantly children' the AFGC look at what percentage of the total viewing audience is children as compared to adults.
Australian QSRI Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children
Signatories to the QSRI Initiative have pledged to cease marketing unhealthy foods and drinks in media directed primarily to children under 14 years old (including TV), unless products meet the QSRI's own nutritional criteria.