Ofcom Asks Advertising Bodies to Review Children’s Exposure to TV Alcohol Advertising

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Ofcom Asks Advertising Bodies to Review Children’s Exposure to TV Alcohol Advertising

Ofcom Asks Advertising Bodies to Review Children’s Exposure to TV Alcohol Advertising
May 27
11:39 2013

Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, has asked advertising regulators to review the rules that limit children from being exposed to alcohol advertising on TV. This follows Ofcom research, which shows that children saw an average of 3.2 alcohol adverts per week in 2011, compared to 2.7 in 2007.

Ofcom has therefore asked the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which ensures compliance with advertising rules, and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), which keeps the rules under review, to assess whether the limits placed on children’s exposure to alcohol advertising on TV are effective.

Analysis carried out for Ofcom found that in 2011 much of children’s viewing was to programmes aimed at adult audiences, in which alcohol advertising is permitted. The research identifies the types of programmes that attract the largest audiences of children.

As well as watching more programmes aimed largely at an adult audience, there has been a shift in viewing by children to channels with more advertising. As a result, their exposure to all forms of advertising, including alcohol, has increased.

The rules prohibit alcohol adverts in or around programmes made for, or likely to appeal particularly to under 18s.

Broadcasters predict whether a programme is likely to be of particular appeal to under 18s based on experience and audience data for similar programmes in the past.

Ofcom has asked the ASA to investigate the audience data to determine whether broadcasters have made the right judgments and, where they haven’t, to take enforcement action to ensure children remain protected.

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