• Industry-wide program includes all advertisers and media
  • Fulfills the objectives of government in restricting advertising of food and beverage products to children

TORONTO (June 27, 2023) – Following its introduction in June 2021, the Code and Guide for the Responsible Advertising of Food and Beverage Products to Children (“Code” and “Guide”), is set to be implemented on schedule.

Developed over two years by the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), Food, Health and Consumer Products Canada (FHCP), Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) and Restaurants Canada, together with government and a diverse group of stakeholders, the Code and Guide fulfills the objectives of government in restricting advertising of food and beverage product to children.

The Code and Guide sets rules for advertisers of food and beverage products, requiring a responsible approach to child audiences. Under this new standard, only food and beverages that meet specified nutrition criteria may be advertised in a manner that is primarily directed to children under the age of 13.

“It is easily one of the strongest, most comprehensive such programs in the world, and stands poised to dramatically reduce the exposure of children to child-directed food and beverage advertising” said Ron Lund, President and CEO of the ACA.

“Its restriction is unequivocal,” adds Registered Dietitian Michi Furuya Chang, Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs at FHCP. “Advertising for a food or beverage product may not be primarily directed to persons under thirteen years of age unless the product satisfies the child advertising nutrition criteria.”

Beginning June 28, 2023, Ad Standards will fully implement its robust preclearance regime to the Code and Guide. Ad Standards Canada is an independent non-profit organization that has been responsible for upholding the standards of the advertising industry for over sixty years.

Advertisers are encouraged to submit all food and beverage advertisings that might reasonably be seen as primarily directed to children, in any media, for review and preclearance by Ad Standards to ensure compliance.

In determining whether an advertisement is primarily directed to children, Ad Standards will consider three criteria: (a) the nature and intended purpose of the food or beverage product advertised; (b) the manner of presenting the advertisement; and (c) the time and place it is shown. Preclearance is available for all advertisers, and not just members of Ad Standards or any of the stakeholders responsible for the development of the Code and Guide.

“It is important to understand that this is an industry-wide code, says Krista Scaldwell, the CBA’s President. “The new preclearance and enforcement system will apply to all advertisers and for all media. The new restrictions are another example of the food and beverage sectors’ commitment to our consumers.”

Ad Standards will enforce the Code and Guide through a complaints-based mechanism applicable to all advertisers. For ads that were precleared under the Code and Guide by Ad Standards, the complainant will be advised that these ads are compliant, and no further action will be taken.

For more information, see Ad Standards website.

ACA is the independent voice of Canadian marketers and the champion of a fair and transparent marketplace. A national, not-for-profit association, it speaks on behalf of more than 200 companies and divisions. www.acaweb.ca

Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP) is the voice of Canada’s largest manufacturing employer. The food, health, and consumer products sector employs more than 350,000 Canadians across businesses of all sizes that manufacture and distribute the safe, high-quality products that are at the heart of healthy homes, healthy communities, and a healthy Canada. Visit OnEveryShelf.ca and fhcp.ca to learn more.

The Canadian Beverage Association is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic refreshment beverages consumed in Canada. Over 58,000 individuals are employed directly, indirectly and through induced jobs in the Canadian beverage industry.

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit member-based trade association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Canada’s foodservice sector is a $100 billion industry that serves 22 million customers across the country every day. As the fourth-largest private-sector employer, Canadian foodservice directly employs 1.2 million people and indirectly supports another 290,000+ jobs in related industries, with $32 billion in food and beverage products purchased every year. www.restaurantscanada.org