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AANA targets vapes, kidfluencers in advertising code revamp

Australia’s national body for the advertising industry, AANA, has ramped up its regulations around advertising towards children, extending its scope from children’s products only to all advertising categories.

The review, announced in June last year, aimed to update the Children’s Advertising Code to keep up with changes in the ways that children consume media.

AANA CEO Josh Faulks

AANA CEO Josh Faulks said: “The Code is no longer limited to advertising for children’s products and will provide critical protections around any advertising directed at children.”

“It places a clear ban on directing advertising of hazardous products to children such as vapes, kava or highly caffeinated drinks.

“It also prohibits the encouragement of unsafe practices, including bullying or promoting unhealthy body image, and the use of sexual appeal or imagery when communicating to children.”

The beefed-up Code places restrictions around ‘kidfluencers’ and influencer advertising directed at children.

“The rules go beyond Australian Consumer Law recognising the subtle, embedded nature of influencer advertising directed at children which research says lowers children’s ability to recognise it as advertising,” Faulks said.

“It must now be immediately clear to a child that they are interacting with advertising content.”

The new Children’s Advertising Code will come into effect on 1 December 2023 and complements AANA’s Food & Beverage Advertising Code. It applies to all advertising, across all media channels at all times of the day.

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