Food Advertising and Obesity in Australia: To What Extent Can Self-regulation Protect the Interests of Children?
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 08:43 by Sarah Mackay
In 2006, the Australian Association of National Advertisers implemented the self-regulatory Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code in response to public concern about the infl uence of ‘ junk food’ advertising on children’s obesity levels and pressure for more restrictive regulation of this advertising. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the effi cacy of the Code and the capacity of self-regulation to protect children’s interests in relation to food advertising. The article analyses the Code with regard to characteristics and conditions considered necessary for, or typical of, effective self-regulation. The article identifi es a number of defi ciencies in the Code and self-regulatory scheme, and concludes that self-regulation is unsuitable for protecting children from harmful effects of food advertising, due mainly to advertisers’ overriding commercial interest in using advertising practices that are effective for encouraging children to consume unhealthy food.