Code for marketing of food and drink aimed at children

This Code supersedes that of 2007, as updated in June 2009.

1.   Background

Marketing of food and drink should aim to encourage a balanced and varied diet. For example, marketing should not encourage or urge over-consumption. Children are a particularly vulnerable group, who need to be protected from marketing aimed specifically at them. This Code is meant as a supplement to other marketing legislation and regulations, including the Norwegian Marketing and Broadcasting Acts

2.   Prohibition on marketing to children

Marketing of the products on the Product List must not be specifically aimed at children under 13 years. The word marketing means initiatives for promoting sales.

The following are not to be regarded as marketing:

a) The actual product, including packaging.

b) Ordinary display of products at the point of sale.

c) Sponsorship which only includes the use of the sponsor’s name, the sponsor’s trademark or the product trademark, including the distribution of samples with the consent of parents and other responsible persons.

TV advertising broadcast after 21:00 hours will not be regarded as marketing specifically aimed at children.

3.   Caution in marketing to young people

In the case of marketing of products on the Product List which is specifically aimed at young people, caution and consideration must be exercised in respect of their age and development.

4.   Assessment of infringements

When assessing whether marketing is specifically aimed at children, an overall assessment must be made, with emphasis on the following:

a)         To what extent do the media used have particular appeal for children?

a)         To what extent do the advertising elements used have particular appeal for children?

a)         To what extent do the marketed products have particular appeal for children?

It should be clarified that a product and its packaging etc. will not in themselves be regarded as marketing, see para. 2a.

5.   Supervision

MFU is responsible for handling complaints.

6.  Commencement date

The new Code is advisory from 1 August 2013 and binding from 1 January 2014.