Consumer protectionNew legislation proposed for better child protection in advertising

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) proposed a new legislation on food advertising today. The new draft bill aims to ban advertising that promotes food with high levels of sugar, fat or salt and is addressed at children via its content, design or nature – by using child actors or special language.

The proposed legislation includes the following aspects:

  • The assessment of foods with high levels of sugar, fat or salt is to be based on the World Health Organization (WHO) nutrient profile model, which was explicitly created to regulate food advertising for children.
  • Children are defined as anyone under the age of 14.
  • Neither as outdoor advertising nor via media channels relevant to children, including influencer marketing, should this type of advertising directed at children be permitted in the future.
  • Also advertising that does not explicitly target children could be inadmissible if it:
  1. runs between 6 am and 11 pm so that children might regularly view it,
  2. is carried out with content that also appeals to children, or
  3. is operated as outdoor advertising within a radius of 100 meters of schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, or other recreational facilities for children.
  • Sponsorship of food high in sugar, fat or salt targeted at children will also no longer be permitted.

Ramona Pop, executive director of the German Federation of Consumer Associations (vzbv), commented: "Advertising regulations for unhealthy foods would be a real breakthrough for greater child protection. There is a social responsibility to ensure that children grow up healthy. For years, leading scientists, a broad alliance of civil society and the majority of consumers have been calling for children to finally be protected from advertising that is too fatty or sweet. These often come with cute comics, bears or dinos, but in the end always seduce children to consume too much sugar, fat or salt."

Source: BMEL & vzbv

More information and vzbv press release