TACD publishes policy resolution on the protection of children from digital food marketing

Today, TACD publishes a policy resolution on the protection of children from digital food marketing. The resolution looks at the effects that digital marketing has on childhood obesity and sets out a number of recommendations to EU and U.S. policymakers.

Childhood obesity has become an ever-growing problem worldwide, which has been further exacerbated by online food marketing to children. In the digital era, and with the increase of children’s use of technology, advertisers are able to target children and adolescents with marketing strategies that promote unhealthy foods in popular digital spaces.

Aside from the risks that this poses to childhood obesity, it also raises data protection concerns as personal data is collected without sufficient user knowledge or control.

With the above in mind, TACD sets out a set of eleven recommendations to EU and U.S. policymakers on what should be included in policies and regulations to protect children from unregulated and inappropriate food marketing in digital media and technologies.

These recommendations include, amongst others:

  1. Developing or strengthening mandatory regulations that restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods through digital media to children;
  2. Prohibiting the collection of any data from children and adolescents through digital platforms;
  3. Establishing comprehensive enforcement mechanisms to monitor food marketing to children, handle complaints and impose effective sanctions and penalties;
  4. Devising cross-border preventative measures such as Memoranda of Understanding and post-market enforcement responses to avoid evasion of national rules; and
  5. Ensuring that trade and investment agreements, including any future bilateral or plurilateral agreement signed by the U.S. and EU, do not limit governments’ ability to regulate food marketing in the future with a view to protecting children from the harm resulting thereof.

The full resolution on the protection of children from digital food marketing can be found here.

Background documents: