It’s not exactly a surprise, because it was already clear that the Consumer Ministry was going to focus on it . The advertising of junk or unhealthy food is definitely going to be the next scenario that the Government will regulate in advertising terms. The objective will be to limit the exposure of children to the advertising claims of this type of products, which will have to disappear from television but also from the internet.  Panama Email List “The Government will regulate the advertising of foods harmful to the health of minors to defend their interests against those of the food industry,” can be read in the tweet in which the Ministry of Consumption announced the implementation of the measure.

What exactly will change and how will regulation affect? From the outset, certain products may not be advertised if the recipients of those messages are children. According to the information published by the ministry, advertising for chocolate and sugar confectionery, sweet toppings, desserts, pastry products, energy drinks, juices or ice creams may not be launched if it is aimed at minors.

Although these are the products whose advertising messages are completely prohibited, they are not the only ones that will be affected by the measure. For other food and beverage products, limits will be imposed.

Those who exceed certain limits that make them unhealthy will also not be able to launch ads aimed at children. The Ministry of Consumption includes as such “drinks, snacks or sauces with added sugars, or prepared with more than 225 kcal per 100 g”.

Where the measure will be applied
The effects of the rule will affect all media. On television, these ads will have to disappear from the children’s schedule on all channels. These hours are from 8 to 9 in the morning and from 5 to 10 in the afternoon / night from Monday to Friday and in the mornings (9 to 12) on weekends and holidays.

In addition, and outside these hours, campaigns for these products may not be broadcast on television on children’s channels or before, during or after – whatever time it is – of programs for children on free online television. They will also have to disappear from general television and radio broadcasts that have a “high audience of children under 16 years of age.”

The measures also affect online advertising. On the internet – and social networks and applications are included here – these ads may not be served if the content is for children under 16 years of age. Nor will they be able to enter the print media for this age target.

When the rule comes into force
On social media, Consumption has made it clear that the standard follows the WHO recommendations, that these types of ads have similar effects to tobacco advertising and that the standard is similar to others that already operate in the United Kingdom, Portugal or Norway. The effects of unhealthy food are, they warn, a public health hazard.

The rule does not go into effect imminently. It is expected to do so during the next year. There is still the legislative procedure process.

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