Limiting the unhealthy food advertisements to children

05.01.2015
From 1 January 2015, auditions for children aged up to 12 years, issued by the eight largest television broadcaster in Poland, will not be accompanied by advertisements of “unhealthy food”. It is a result of an agreement signed by: ITI Neovision Poland, Polsat TV, TVP, TV Puls, TVN, VIMN Poland, The Walt Disney Company (Polska) and Stavka company.
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The aim of the agreement on the principles of dissemination of advertisements and identification of sponsorship concerning food and beverages containing components, which are not advisable in excessive amounts in the diet of children, is to ensure the protection of minors, under art. 16b. paragraph 3a and 3b of the Broadcasting Act.

According to the declaration of broadcasters, from 1 January 2015 the programmes for children aged up to 12 will not be accompanied by advertisements of food and beverages that do not meet “Nutritional Criteria to the self - regulation on food advertising aimed at children under 12 years”. The document was prepared on the request of the Polish Federation of Food Industry and approved by the Ministry of Health, it is attached to the Broadcasters’ Agreement.

The annex includes also a list of products categories which are not mentioned in the Nutritional Criteria, as their advertising next to the programmes for children will not be allowed. These include: sugar and sugar-based products like: chocolate and chocolate products, jam or marmalade, non-chocolate sweets and other sugar products, soft drinks, potato chips and potato-based snacks, as well as products made of dough. The broadcasters pledged that children's programs will not be accompanied by the advertisements of products listed above.

Broadcasters who signed the agreement will require the advertisers to submit a written declaration of the advertised products conformity with the Nutrirional Criteria.

One of the National Broadcasting Council’s tasks is to promote self-regulation in the area of provision of media services. The broadcasters’ agreement is a response to the need of an efficient protection of children against harmful commercial content that may adversely affect their proper physical, mental or moral development which was repeatedly raised by the National Broadcasting Council. The broadcasters’ self-regulatory activity took into account the provisions of the Broadcasting Act. At the same time the Advertising Council has declared passing both to the National Broadcasting Council and to the broadcasters any information on the violation of the “Standards of the Food Advertising directed to children" and the “Nutritional Criteria to the self - regulation on food advertising aimed at children under 12 years".

The broadcasters’ agreement is voluntary. They have also committed, inter alia, to designate representatives authorized to execute the agreement.

In case of a necessity to verify the products’ advertisements compliance with the Nutritional Criteria, the National Broadcasting Council will address the Ministry of Health.
At the same time the National Broadcasting Council will continue monitoring the fulfilment of the requirements of art. 16b para. 3a of the Broadcasting Act, which results from the statutory obligation of the NBA to control the broadcasters.

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According to the art. 16b para. 3a of the Broadcasting Act, children’s programmes should not be accompanied by commercial communications for foods or beverages containing ingredients excessive intake of which in every day diet is not recommended.

In the NBC opinion there is a necessity to change the wording of the Act to clarify that it means a total ban on emission of so-called unhealthy food advertisements accompanying the children’s programmes. There should also be the obligation for the Ministry of Health to issue a regulation on the manner of qualifying food or beverages, taking into account the presence of ingredients the excessive amount of which in a daily diet is not advisable as well as the current knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

These two proposals are included in the draft amendment of the Broadcasting Act, submitted by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.

Television Broadcasters' Agreement

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Skwer Ks. Kard. S. Wyszyńskiego 9, 01-015 Warsaw, Poland
tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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