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Law Prohibiting Harmful Advertising to Minors Comes Into Force

As of today, 23rd of June, a law prohibiting the advertising of foods and beverages known to contain high levels of salt, sugars and fats comes into force in schools, playgrounds, cinemas and other places frequented by children under the age of sixteen.  The new ruling also affects advertising in establishments within a hundred metre radius of schools and playgrounds, while both television and radio stations cannot broadcast any material deemed unsuitable for minors thirty minutes prior to and after children’s programmes or programmes where at least 25% of the target audience will be under sixteen years of age.  Cinemas also come under the same ruling as do internet websites and social networks whose advertising targets young audiences.

There are some exemptions such as advertising trademarks affixed in commercial establishments, such as awnings or chairs and the new restrictions on advertising are subject to periodic ‘successive impact assessments’ every five years.

The bill states that the advertising of foodstuffs and beverages with a high energy value, salt content, sugar, saturated fatty acids and processed fatty acids should be clear, and in no way suggest the item has potential health benefits.

Failure to comply will result in fines ranging from €1,750 to €3,750 for individuals and €3,500 to €45,000 for commercial enterprises.  The new ruling is to be administered by the General Directorate for Consumer Affairs.

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly