The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón , announced this Thursday the ban on advertising aimed at children for sweets, cookies, ice cream, caloric beverages and other food products rich in sugars and fats considered harmful to health by the World Organization of health.
Garzón explained that the regulation of this advertising of food aimed at children under 16 years of age on television , the media in general and social networks will be done by royal decree and will begin to apply next year 2022.
‼ The Government will regulate the advertising of foods harmful to the health of minors to defend their interests against those of the food industry
In Spain, 1 in 3 boys and girls is overweight or obese
– Ministry of Consumption (@consumogob) October 28, 2021
Minister Garzón made this announcement at a press conference in Barcelona, after meeting with the mayor of the Catalan capital, Ada Colau, who has also announced that the Catalan capital’s city council will take measures to combat the overexposure of the child population to the advertising of these foods that harm their health.
Drinks, snacks or sauces with added sugars or prepared with more than 225 kcal per 100 g may not be advertised either🥤🍿 pic.twitter.com/pab9YSzY2p
– Ministry of Consumption (@consumogob) October 28, 2021
The measure also affects drinks, snacks or sauces with added sugars, or prepared with more than 225 kcal per 100 grams. “The work is done. We have the pertinent reports to adapt these nutritional profiles of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the regulatory system and we have already spoken with the National Commission of Markets and Competition,” said Garzón.
“In Spain, excess overweight is 23.3% and obesity 17.3%. The sum exceeds 40% for children between 6 and 9 years old. These are alarming and worrying figures,” the minister warned, and has added that these figures are double among the poorest families than among the wealthiest, according to the Aladino report.
Likewise, it has found evidence that the different strategies implemented for more than a decade to reduce obesity and child overweight, such as the Paos Self-Regulation Code established by the industry itself, has been something “totally insufficient”.
The rule will affect advertising for five product categories: the first is chocolate and sugar confectionery , energy bars and sweet and dessert toppings; It is followed by the food group that includes cakes, cookies and other pastry products, and three other categories that include juices, energy drinks and ice creams will not be advertised.
Child eating ice cream
From self-regulation to prohibition: this is how the Government intends to eradicate children’s advertising of sweets and juices
For the rest of the product categories, a limit of nutrient content is established per 100 grams , and in this case, they can be announced as long as the total and saturated fats, the total and added sugar and the salt levels are maintained. below the limits established for each product.
Garzón has said that this regulatory framework – which will not need to pass through Congress and would come into force when the Council of Ministers proceeds – is similar to that of countries such as the United Kingdom, Portugal and Norway , and has explained that, from From these premises, companies may have their own self-regulation as long as they imply a protection superior to the norm.
The Minister of Consumption thus announces a measure to which he had already committed himself some time ago in public: his will to further limit advertising in children’s media and schedules of products that did not obtain the A or B label in his newly created nutritional traffic light , the controversial Nutriscore .
Consumption considers the PAOS Code “insufficient”
As of today, what is in force in Spain is the PAOS Code , which since 2005 establishes a set of “ethical rules” that guide companies voluntarily adhering to the promotion of food and beverages aimed at minors “to avoid excessive advertising pressure “on them.
Consumption considers that the PAOS Code has been shown to be “insufficient” to prevent childhood obesity, a condition that in Spain affects the poorest families doubly than the wealthiest.
Although you may think that cereals are a recommended product, the truth is that those sold in stores are ultra-processed, so it is not a good idea to abuse them.
These ‘spots’ could disappear from TV with the new law against advertising food “harmful” to minors
And that the PAOS strategy was reinforced in 2009 through an agreement with televisions to control advertisements for food and beverages directed at children under 12 years of age. And then in 2012 to include adolescents up to 15 years old. But what was asked of the companies was a commitment not to promote the uncontrolled consumption of certain unhealthy foods and to favor a healthy and balanced diet.
Carmen Pérez , president of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition, acknowledges 20 minutes ago that it has been known for a long time that the Paos strategy was not leading to lower rates of childhood obesity in Spain. However, Pérez doubts that the ban on advertising is the most effective: “Now advertising comes in many ways, marketing reinvents itself,” he assures while remembering that the important thing is that people understand that “the product local and fresh is what should prevail in the daily diet. ”
Goodbye to Zumosol’s cousin and Tosta Rica cookies
The Executive’s decision affects the media, but especially television, where mythical advertisements have passed such as that of Zumosol’s cousin, the conguitos -and his famous song (‘Somos los conguitos …) – or the cookies Rich Tosta.
This type of announcement will be prohibited in 2022 in any program broadcast during child protection hours, as well as Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Neither can these advertisements be seen on children’s television channels, nor on generalist networks when during the program or hours a “high audience of children under 16 years of age” is detected . They cannot be broadcast before or after programs aimed at children, on online or open TV.
In short, all this will cause the disappearance of current advertisements and will definitely leave other classic spots that are already television history out of date.