US kidcasters banned from pushing ad-heavy websites
The FCC has ruled that cable and broadcast operators may not display addresses for websites that contain any links to commercial content during kids shows. Watchdogs keeping tabs on the 1990 Children’s Television Act, which only allows 10.5 minutes of ads per half hour on the weekend, were concerned that TV programs sending kids to retail websites were getting around the rules. URLs that feature a substantial amount of show-related content, however, are still good to go.
France piggybacks health messages onto food ads
Weighed down by the global obesity epidemic, France has instituted a plan that tacks a government health message onto all food ads in broadcast and print. Marketers can choose from four messages: Avoid snacking between meals; Avoid eating too much salt, sugar or fat; Exercise regularly; and Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables everyday. The message must occupy at least 7% of page or screen space, and companies that don’t comply will be fined 1.5% of their ad budgets.
Kids TV standards in the spotlight Down Under
Following a report on the sexualization of children in the media by the Australia Institute last year, the Aussie government is planning a major review of children’s television standards to be completed next year. One topic it will address is legislation that restricts broadcasting to kids.
FTC veteran to keep food advertisers honest
The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which launched in November to pressure food marketers to take self-regulation seriously, has recruited Elaine Kolish to serve as its director. A 29-year veteran with the FTC (the very org cracking down on kids advertising), Kolish will work with partner companies to uphold the Initiative’s principles, as well as monitoring marketing activity to ID offenders.