As it did before with bookmakers and online gambling, the Ministry of Consumption is now working to limit how the advertising of so-called junk food can be and how and where it can be advertised. Consumption plans a royal decree that will regulate the advertisements of this type of products and that will affect not only traditional media – such as television – but also digital ones.
The regulations want to regulate how this type of ads can be served on social networks and thus limit their impact on the child population. The forecast of the ministry, as El Periódico has advanced , is that the normative proposal is ready between the end of this year and the beginning of next. Right now, Consumption would still be working on the issue and maintaining contacts with the industry.
In addition, even when the normative project is, it would still have to go through different procedures. It would still have to be approved by the Council of Ministers. What will change the norm? Possibly, of the adjustments published by EPE , the most important change is the one that will affect social networks. Right now, these are outside the regulatory framework – the one that prevents, for example, showing this type of ads during children’s hours on TV – and with the new rule they would be regulated. The big question is how.
The two types of possible limits
As the newspaper has learned, Consumption shuffles two options. One would imply that the companies themselves and Consumption agree on a common framework, controlled by the CNMC (which could impose fines on those who skip it but more in the long term). Another would be to create a regulation similar to that of the game and with penalties from the first moment. Junk food ads could only be launched when they can be safely prevented from reaching children. Hopefully all these measures will also change the rules of the game for influencers.
The measures will not only affect online advertising, because Consumo believes that the current self-regulation does not work. Among the other measures being considered is to completely prohibit the advertising of this type of products on television during children’s hours or to prohibit all advertising of the products that are considered the worst.
it is not a new idea
Although this article outlines what to expect, the idea is not exactly new . When a year ago the Ministry of Consumption presented a report on childhood obesity, the need to change things had already been pointed out. At the time, it seemed clear that junk food seemed like the next great advertising black beast and that difficult advertising times awaited companies in the sector. In some countries, measures have already been taken to limit the advertising and marketing of these brands.
The United Kingdom already announced this summer its plans to reduce the exposure of children to junk food ads: they will only be able to broadcast them at night. The country also made the decision in light of the high rates of childhood obesity and the high presence of these products in advertising messages.