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In January, the Queensland Parliament’s Health and Community Services Committee handed down a report on their inquiry into sexually explicit outdoor advertising.

Among its eight recommendations are:
• The Queensland government introduce legislation to establish a co-regulatory approach to outdoor advertising.
• The Australian Association of National Advertisers amend its Code of Ethics so that it puts beyond doubt that the ‘relevant audience’ for outdoor advertising includes children.
• The Outdoor Media Association develop a placement policy to provide clear advice about the appropriate content of outdoor advertising near locations frequented by children such as schools and child care centres.
• The Advertising Standards Bureau undertakes more frequent research about prevailing community views to inform their decisions.
• Where an outdoor advertisement uses sex, nudity and sexuality, and potentially breaches the Code of Ethics, the Advertising Standards Bureau and the Advertising Standards Board consider the matter without the need for a complaint.

Some of these recommendations would improve the present situation and a co-regulatory approach with tighter codes that encompass community views could go some way towards protecting children.

Health and Community Services Committee. Inquiry into sexually explicit outdoor advertising. Queensland Parliament, Parliamentary Committees January 2014

 


Busted

Coco beats

Kellogg has immediately closed down an interactive Coco Pops website after the Advertising Standards Board ruled that it breached the messaging requirements of the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI).

 

The Board found that the game did not promote good dietary habits which are a positive obligation under the RCMI.

The game required placing a picture of a musical instrument, for example a drum kit, from Coco Pops packets in front of the computer webcam. Players used the computer keyboard to get Coco the Monkey to play music. In their complaint, the Obesity Policy Coalition maintained that Coco Pops are not a healthy dietary choice and that targeting vulnerable child audiences through branded online activities contravenes community standards.

As we’ve highlighted before, Coco Pops are considered a ‘healthy dietary choice’ under the RCMI as the initiative allows companies to define their own healthy criteria and as you would guess Kellogg’s criteria considers Coco Pops to be healthy.

Kellogg have taken down the website.