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Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011

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2010-2011

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senators B Brown and Di Natale)

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM JUNK FOOD ADVERTISING (BROADCASTING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT) BILL 2011

 

OUTLINE

 

The Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011 amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to encourage healthier eating habits among children by restricting the broadcasting of advertisements for junk food.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

Nil.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

1.       This is a formal provision specifying the short title.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.       The Bill's provisions are to commence the day after it receives Royal Assent

 

Clause 3 - Schedules

 

3.       This clause provides that an Act that is specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in that Schedule, and any other item in a Schedule operates according to its terms.

 

S chedule 1 - Amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 1 - Restrictions on advertising of unhealthy foods.

 

4.       Item 1 inserts a new clause 122A which imposes direct requirements on 'commercial television broadcasting licensees' (i.e. broadcasters).  

 

5.       Subclause (1) states a person must not broadcast an unhealthy food advertisement that is directed to children.

 

6.       Subclause (2) provides that a commercial television broadcasting licensee must not broadcast an unhealthy food advertisement (a) between 6 am and 9 am and between 4 pm and 9 pm, on a day that falls between Monday to Friday inclusive; and  (b) between 6 am and 12 pm and between 4 pm and 9 pm, on Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday that falls between Monday and Friday inclusive

 

7.       Subclause (3) provides that a subscription broadcasting television licensee must not broadcast an unhealthy food advertisement on a subscription broadcasting service that is primarily intended for or watched by children.

 

8.       Subclause (4) provides that person must not upload, or cause, permit or authorise the uploading of, material on the internet that constitutes or contains an unhealthy food advertisement that is directed to children.

 

9.       Subclause (5) provides that a person must not send, or cause, permit or authorise the sending of, a commercial electronic message that constitutes or contains an unhealthy food advertisement to another person, if the first person knows, has reason to suspect, or reasonably should have known, that the other person is a child.

 

10.   Subclause (6) prescribes definitions of 'healthy food' and 'unhealthy food' as food or beverage or products containing food or a beverage which do or do not comply, respectively with the nutrient profile criteria to be prescribed in the regulations and defines an 'unhealthy food advertisement as any writing, still or moving picture or sign, symbol or other visual image, or audio message or any combination of these media that publicises or promotes unhealthy foods or a food brand that is not promoting healthy foods.

 

11.   Subclause (7) prescribes that the Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that regulations for the purposes of subclause (6) are made within 6 months of the commencement of the bill.

 

12.   Subclause (8) and (9) exempts internet and other electronic service providers from the prohibition in Subclause (4) and (5).

 

13.   Subclause (10) stipulates that Subclause (1) does not prevent the broadcasting of community service announcements concerning unhealthy foods.

 

14.   Subclause (11) exempts the broadcast of unhealthy food advertisements to children if the broadcast is accidental, an incidental component of other broadcast material, could not have reasonably been prevented and the broadcaster does not receive any direct or indirect benefit (financial or otherwise) from the broadcast.

 

15.   Subclause (12) exempts the broadcast of unhealthy food advertisements to children if the broadcast is of historical interest or for documentary or educational purposes and the broadcaster does not receive any direct or indirect benefit (financial or otherwise) from the broadcast.

 

 

Item 2 - Compliance

 

16.   Item 2 inserts a new paragraph (s) into subsection 7 (1) of Schedule 2 of the Act. The amendment provides that the licensee will comply with the requirements set out in clause 122A (which deals with the advertising of unhealthy foods).

 

Item 3 - Meaning of directed to children

 

17.   Item 3 inserts a new Schedule 8 into the Act which provides for the meaning of directed to children.

 

18.   Subclause (1) of Item 1 of the new Schedule 8 defines directed to children to be determined by appeal, timing and the proportion of children of the audience.

 

 

19.   Subclauses (2), (3) and (4) set out some of the factors which might determine an advertisement, program and website's appeal to children including type of product, themes, presentation and design, apparent age of people or characters, the images, language, sounds, music, objects, animals, personalities, characters, activities, games or sports in the advertisement and the use of promotional items, prizes or competitions.