The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has stated that blanket bans on advertising for some parts of the food and beverage market will not solve the issue of child obesity.
AANA admitted concerns over child obesity but said the ban would result in job losses during tough economic conditions.
According to the AANA, the issue of child obesity needs a holistic approach that includes education, parental guidance and encouraging healthy eating habits and physical activity.
AANA CEO Josh Faulks said: “The advertising industry recognises community concerns around childhood obesity and the role advertising plays.
“That is why we have established some of the strongest rules in the world around food and beverage advertising to children and are proud of a nearly 100% compliance rate with decisions made by the independent complaints handling body, Ad Standards.
“With strong rules already in place, blanket advertising bans are unnecessary and will cause job losses across multiple sectors as we face into significant economic headwinds.”
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Australia’s Food & Beverages Advertising Code restricts the targeting of children under the age of 15 years with food and beverage ads.
This prohibition applies to all advertising aired by all media channels throughout the day.
The country’s food and beverage sector directly and indirectly offers employment to hundreds of thousands of people across different segments such as restaurants and takeaway food services, along with primary producers such as poultry, meat and grain.
In a separate development, the Australian lobby group Food for Health Alliance hailed a new Private Member’s Bill that seeks to limit the duration of unhealthy food and drink advertising at set times on TV and radio and at all times online.