Reports on preschooler TV advertising an exaggeration, says FGC

10/07/2013

Reports that 60 per cent of Kiwi parents of preschoolers are concerned at the amount of TV advertising targeting their children grossly exaggerate the findings of the actual study, says Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.

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"The results of this University of Otago research study of a small survey of 80 families from Dunedin can hardly be extrapolated to suggest that all New Zealand parents of more than 300,000 children under the age of 5 think exactly the same way.

"It would be interesting to know what questions the parents in the survey were asked, because there is currently no advertising on television targeting preschool

ers. Advertising, sponsorship or prize packs are not allowed during pre-school television programming.

"It's only natural for parents to think deeply about the influences our children are exposed to, but it's more than likely that many concerned respondents were not aware of the highly successful current advertising codes, which lay out in detail the strict rules about how companies can advertise to children.  Some New Zealand food companies go further and have policies that they will not advertise to children at all.

"While there is no food advertising during pre-school TV programmes, for other children's programming the industry abides by the Advertising Standards Authority's Children's Code for Advertising Food 2010 which is very clear about what can and can't be advertised.

"This Code makes clear that no advertisement should undermine any governments' food and nutrition policies or the role of parents. Any advertising should not encourage the over-consumption of any food, particularly treat food, snacks, or fast food.  It's an extensive Code and it has been successfully adhered to by the industry.

"So while there while remains a perception for some that there is regular advertising targeted at children, this is not the case at all. New Zealand's self-regulatory model for advertising works well.

The NZ Herald article can be read here.