Restricted Advertising of Certain Category of Food

In Turkish advertising legislation, there is detailed and restricting rules for advertisements intended for children. The aim for these rules is to protect children against any kind of advertising that abuses their lack of knowledge and experience. It is clearly stated in the Adverting Regulation that advertisements that are likely to abuse children’s lack of knowledge and experience are strictly prohibited. The Advertisement Board attaches high importance to the protection of children in supervising the advertisements, it imposes sanctions of cease and desist, monetary fines are imposed on advertisements that abuse parents’ sensitivities towards their children, such as affection, compassion, and emotional attachment, advertisements that involve messages implying that possession or use of a particular product, alone, will provide a child with physical, social or psychological advantages in comparison with other children of the same age, or that possession of a product will produce a contrary effect.

Furthermore, more significant restrictions apply to broadcasts of advertisements of foods intended for children. In 2018, the Ministry of Health prepared the Nutrition Profile Guide, which separated foods and drinks into three categories: red, orange and green.

The red category was determined as foods and beverages, such as “candy, chocolate, and coke,” which are not allowed to be advertised during children’s programs; the orange category was determined as foods and beverages, such as “nuts, crackers, breakfast cereal, and full-fat dairy products,” which are allowed to be advertised during children’s programs, if the specified criteria are satisfied; and the green category was determined as foods and beverages, such as “fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, etc.,” which are allowed to be advertised during children programs.

In accordance with the Regulation on Procedures and Principles of Broadcasting Service, advertising of foods and beverages that are in the red category as per the Nutrition Profile Guide is prohibited at the beginning and at the end of children’s programs, or during these programs. If the specific criteria determined for the orange category products is not satisfied, these cannot be advertised before, during and after children’s programs. The foodstuffs that are in the green category may be advertised during children’s programs and other programs. The advertisement of products under the red category are allowed during other programs, provided that they are broadcast with written warnings (prepared by the Ministry of Health) in the form of a flowing tape at the bottom of the screen, which can be easily read by the viewers, and contains statements encouraging regular and balanced nutrition.

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