Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2016 2016 Review of operations_WEB - Page 52

Food and beverage advertising There are a range of self-regulatory Codes and Initiatives which control advertising of food and beverages and advertising to children generally. It is important to note the scope and intention of these Initiatives and of the AANA Codes which also regulate food and beverage advertising. These Codes and Initiatives do not purport to stop all advertising of food and beverages to children. AANA Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code The ASB administers the AANA Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communcations Code (the AANA Food Code). The AANA Food Code has provisions focussing on advertising food and beverages generally. Part 3 of this Code has specific restrictions about advertising food and beverages to children and these are discussed below. During 2016, 21 cases were considered under the AANA Food Code, two of which were also considered under the RCMI or QSRI and are discussed below. The main issues in cases considered primarily under the AANA Food Code during 2016 relate to truth and accuracy. Section 2.1 - Truth and Accuracy/ Nutritional composition of the product Section 2.1 of the AANA Food Code states: Advertising or Marketing Communications for Food or Beverage Products shall be truthful and honest, shall not be or be designed to be misleading or deceptive or otherwise contravene Prevailing Community Standards, and shall be communicated in a manner appropriate to the level of understanding of the target audience of the Advertising or Marketing Communication with an accurate presentation of all information including any references to nutritional values or health benefits. The Board does not determine as a legal matter whether an advertisement is misleading, nor does it reach a legal opinion. Its task is to reflect the community’s attitude—to assess whether the advertisement meets current community expectations for truthfulness given what the advertisement conveys to ordinary consumers. The Board has a special role given the broad principles in the various Codes and its role as set out in the Complaints provisions of the Codes and other sources such as the Food and Beverage Practice Note. The Board reflects community standards and expectations and these necessarily change over time. Complainants and advertisers each put their own submissions about what the community believes and understands, but it is for the Board to assess what the community would take 50 from an advertisement and whether reasonable members of the community would consider the advertisement misleading. By upholding or rejecting a complaint, the Board determines whether the community considers an advertisement acceptable or not. In this way, it provides guidance to advertisers and assists in maintenance of confidence in advertising. An independent expert is consulted by the ASB and provides advice to the Board on technical matters. During 2016, 16 cases were considered under this Section of the Code. A number of complaints concerned the truthfulness of statements made in advertisements for food products including that: • a spread is made from both butter and olive oil (Unilever Australasia – 0229/16). • the advertised dessert product is made from Australian dairy (Unilever Australasia – 0302/16). • a confectionary advertisement that stated wellness was having loads of fun but staying balanced (Nestle Australia Ltd – 0385/16). • toddler milk containing A2 protein, not A1 protein, was good for toddlers’ development (A2 Milk – 0241/16). • chickens depicted in advertisements were an accurate representation of how the chickens were actually housed (Milne Agri Group (Mt Barker) – 0035/16 and Baiada Poultry Pty Ltd – 0121/16). Advertising Standards Bureau