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Thursday, March 24

Kids Ad guidelines still mean children exposed to saturation advertising

Voluntary guidelines touted today as reducing advertising to children will still allow up to 10 minutes of advertising to be screened during every hour during school age children's TV programming, Green Party broadcasting spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

ThinkTV, a group representing the major television broadcasters, has updated its own voluntary restrictions about advertising targeted at children.

Ms Kedgley said the voluntary guidelines favoured the advertising industry, not kids, and seemed to be principally designed to stave off regulation.

"The guidelines still allow ten minutes of advertising targeted at kids to be screened during every hour of TV programming during peak children's viewing times.

"If the industry group was serious about protecting kids from advertising they would not allow advertising at all during school age television programming times."

Ms Kedgley pointed out that research by the Broadcasting Standards Authority found that most children routinely watch television outside of 'children's viewing' hours, so the restrictions imposed would be of little value.

Ms Kedgley was also concerned that the guidelines allow those with a vested commercial interest to have the final say regarding advertising of unhealthy foods.

"The method used by ThinkTV to verify a particular food or beverage aimed at children allows the industry to ignore the expertise of health professionals.

"TV advertisements influence children's food preferences and often encourage children to consume foods high in sugar and fat," said Ms