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28/09/2016

3 steps towards healthier marketing

The current revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) is the opportunity to free Europe’s children and youth from health-harmful marketing. Undersigned organisations call on Members of the European Parliament to grasp this opportunity and improve the Directive.

Europe faces a childhood obesity epidemic: up to a third of 11-year-olds is overweight or obese.

Youth binge drinking is widespread and causes major harm, while nearly half the European youth used alcohol before the age of 13. Health problems starting in

childhood often last a lifetime.

It is well-established that advertising causes changes in consumption patterns favouring the products advertised.

Nevertheless, children and young people in Europe are still daily subjected to the aggressive marketing of alcohol and foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

1) Minimise young people’s exposure to marketing of health-harmful products

Mandatory measures are needed to minimise the exposure of children and youth to health-harmful marketing, regardless of whether the advertising is directly aimed at them or not.

2) Exclude alcohol and HFSS food from product placement and sponsorship

Product placement and sponsorship of alcoholic beverages and HFSS food are effective marketing techniques, and should be prohibited alongside tobacco and medicinal products.

3) Ensure that Member States can effectively limit broadcasts from other countries on public health grounds

The efforts of frontrunner governments to reduce the negative health effects of alcohol and HFSS foods marketing may not be undermined by broadcasters established in other countries. The European Commission proposal to this effect should be supported.