The final text of the law that will amend the Advertising Code approved by Decree-Law 330/90 of 20 of October 1990 and adopt restrictions to marketing for certain foodstuffs and beverages, aimed at minors under 16, was approved by the Parliament’s Committee on Economy, Innovation and Public Works.
This is the result of almost 3 years of discussion in the Portuguese Parliament and follows recommendations of the World health Organization on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.
The draft law envisages foodstuffs and beverages containing “high energy, salt, sugar, saturated fatty acids and processed fatty acids”.
According to the draft law the categories of products covered will be those compromising a “varied, balanced and healthy diet” and will be defined by the General Directorate of Health (a department of the Ministry of Health) taking into account the recommendations of the WHO and the European Union.
The restrictions envisaged cover the premises and means of marketing/advertising and the content of the relevant communications.
Restrictions concerning premises and means
The draft law prohibits advertising of the “unhealthy” products:
- in pre-school, primary and secondary schools;
- in public playgrounds and open to the public;
- and less than 100 meters from those sites;
- in sports, cultural and recreational activities organized by schools;
- on television and on-demand audiovisual and radio programs within 30 minutes before and after children's programs;
- in cinemas, in films with an age rating of under 16;
- in publications intended for persons under the age of 16;
- on the Internet, via websites or social networks, as well as mobile applications for devices using the Internet, where their content is intended for those under 16 years of age.
Where permitted, advertising for such products should not (subject to more stringent restrictions set out in self-regulatory agreements):
a) Encourage excessive consumption;
b) Disregard non-consumers;
c) Create a sense of urgency or urgent need of consumption of the advertised product;
d) Transmit the idea of facilitation in its acquisition, minimizing its costs;
e) Transmit the idea of benefit in its exclusive or exaggerated consumption, compromising the valorization of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle;
f) Associate consumption of the product with the acquisition of status, social success, special skills, popularity, success or intelligence;
g) Use advertising, figures, drawings, personalities and mascots, among others, that are related to programs for children;
h) Communicate characteristics of the products concerned as beneficial to health, omitting the harmful effects.
The law shall enter into force 60 days after its publication.