ASAI eager to hear back on food ad rules

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), the independent self-regulatory body which aims to promote high standards of marketing communications in Ireland, recently introduced new rules relating to the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products which are incorporated into the authority’s food and non-alcoholic beverages code.

The new restrictions will come into effect from December 2021 and ahead of that date the ASAI will be working with media and advertisers to ensure the successful rollout of the rules. To help progress the process, the ASAI is asking the media and advertising community to submit any questions or queries they may have about the rules online by next Monday.

The feedback will be part an ASAI video presentation explaining the new rules in detail.

In summary, the new rules state that:

  • No medium can be used to advertise HFSS products if more than half of of its audience is under 15 years of age.
  • There are also thresholds on the amount of advertising for HFSS products that can be published by each media format. No more than a third of available outdoor space can carry HFSS product marketing communications, while for cinema, digital and print media, no more than a quarter of the available space can carry HFSS product marketing communications.
  • Marketing communications targeted at children for HFSS products cannot include a promotional offer or a competition. There are also restrictions on the use of licensed characters.
  • Locations primarily used by children will be prohibited to run any form of marketing communication for HFSS foods. Examples of such settings include registered crèches, pre-schools, nurseries, family and child clinics, paediatric services, schools, dedicated school transport, playgrounds and youth centres.

Watch an introductory video presented by ASAI chief executive Orla Twomey (pictured) here

The ASAI is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. The objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Questions about the new rules should be sent here by next Monday, October 4.


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