Interpretation Guideline for Clause 11 of The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children
This Interpretation Guideline applies when advertising food or beverages to children, or in any child-directed message depicting food or beverage products. Those advertising food or beverages should also see The Code and Guide for the Responsible Advertising of Food and Beverage Products to Children.
All “child-directed messages” should encourage healthy development of the child particularly in regards to food:
(i) Child-directed messages for food products in broadcast advertising that are inconsistent with the pertinent provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Industry Labelling Tool shall be deemed to violate Clause 11 (Social Values) of The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.
(ii) When depicting a food product, its role must be adequately represented as part of healthy eating and healthy eating habits consistent with Canada’s Food Guide and Health Canada recommendations.
(iii) When depicting mealtime, a complete meal (e.g. one serving of protein and one serving of carbohydrate or fruit and vegetable) must be depicted.
(iv) Advertising of food products should not discourage or disparage healthy eating or healthy eating habits. These include but are not limited to, choosing healthy beverages, the consumption of fruits or vegetables, choosing whole grain foods, choosing plant-based protein foods more often, and other nutrition recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide, Health Canada, and other relevant scientific organizations. Consumption of highly processed foods should be depicted in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s Food Guide.
(v) The amount of food product featured in a “child-directed message” should be a reasonable amount to acquire, use or, where applicable, consume, by a person in the situation depicted.
(vi) If an advertisement depicts food being consumed by a person, or suggests that the food will be consumed, the quantity of food shown should not exceed the labelled serving size on the Nutrition Facts table (where no such serving size is applicable, the quantity of food shown should not exceed the Reference Amount for that food in the Table of Reference Amounts for Food).
(vii) Advertising should not disparage or discourage physical activity.
“Child-directed message” is a term defined in The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.
In this Interpretation Guideline, a “meal” includes at least one serving from each of the following:
- meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs or milk or milk products other than butter, cream, sour cream, ice-cream, ice milk and sherbet; and
- vegetables, fruit or grain products.
“Servings sizes” as indicated on the Nutrition Facts table or where no such serving size is applicable, the quantity of food defined in Health Canada’s Table of Reference Amounts for Food.