Red Tape Watch

Brit TV ad rules extend to print and web
June 1, 2007

Brit TV ad rules extend to print and web

Last year’s Ofcom restrictions that banned junk food commercials from appearing in or around any kids-targeted programming on UK terrestrial nets will now extend to print ads, posters, direct mail, email blasts, web ads and cinema commercials. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which wrote the non-broadcast advertising code, has confirmed that the extended rules will come into effect on July 1.

UK television industry holds brainstorming session

Hosted by Broadcasting Minister Shaun Woodward and BAFTA, a who’s who in UK children’s entertainment got together at the end of April to discuss the state and future of kids television in the wake of the region’s junk food ad ban. Attendee Julian Scott, head of children’s programming at Coolabi Productions, says the group discussed long-term solutions such as tax incentives similar to those in Canada, which could increase exports and create jobs. Ofcom was also on-hand to present preliminary results of its review of children’s broadcasting, the full version of which will be released this fall. One key discussion point focused on whether or not there’s a need for legislation that further defines the rules and regs governing broadcasters’ obligations to children’s programming.

FTC muscles secrets out of food marketers

The FTC issued a subpoena to 44 unidentified food, beverage and fast food marketers in an effort to dig up details on how they market to children. The info hunt includes traditional media targeting kids, product placement, viral and word-of-mouth marketing activities, campaigns directed to specific races, ethnicities and genders, and any information to support health claims such as ‘better for you.’ The federal register notice says the FTC will treat any data that’s turned over in confidence, but a Senate report based on the findings is expected to lead to lawsuits charging that food companies are responsible for childhood obesity.

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