Children and Young People

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Children and Young People

1. Advertisements addressed to children and young people or likely to be seen by them, should not contain anything which might result in harming them physically, mentally or morally or which might exploit their credulity, lack of experience or natural sense of loyalty.

2. The way in which children perceive and react to advertisements is influenced by their age, experience and the context in which the message is delivered. ASA will take these factors into account when assessing advertisements.

3. Children are not a homogeneous group but have varying levels of maturity and understanding. Care need to be taken that the product advertised and style of advertisement are appropriate for the audience it is primarily directed at.

4. Advertisements targeted at children must be clearly recognizable as such and separate from editorial, programs or other non-advertising material. If there is any reasonable likelihood of advertisements being confused with editorial or programme content, they should be clearly labelled “advertisement” or otherwise identified in a clear manner.

5. Advertisements addressed to, targeted at or featuring children should contain nothing that is likely to result in their physical, mental or moral harm. In particular:
(i) They should not be encouraged to enter strange places or talk to strangers. Care is needed when they are asked to make collections, enter schemes or gather labels, wrappers, coupons and the like

(ii) They should not be shown in hazardous situations or behaving dangerously in the home or outside except to promote safety. They should not be shown unattended in street scenes unless they are old enough to take responsibility for their own safety. Pedestrians and cyclists should be shown to observe the Highway Code;

(iii) They should not be shown using or be in close proximity to dangerous substances or equipment without direct adult supervision

(iv) They should not be encouraged to copy any practice that might be unsafe for a child

(v) Advertisement should not by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim mislead or deceive or be likely to mislead or deceive children, abuse the trust of or exploit the lack of knowledge of children, exploit the superstitious or without justifiable reason play on fear;

(vi) They should not be made to feel inferior or unpopular for not buying the advertised product

(vii) They should not be made to feel that they are lacking in courage, duty or loyalty if they do not buy or do not encourage others to buy a particular product

(viii) It should be made easy for them to judge the size, characteristics and performance of any product advertised and to distinguish between real-life situations and fantasy

(ix) Parental permission should be obtained before they commit to purchase complex and costly goods and services

(x) They should not be encouraged to make a nuisance of themselves to parents or others and advertisements should also not undermine the role of parents in educating children to be healthy and socially responsible individuals.

(xi) Persons, characters or group who have achieved particular celebrity status with children shall not be used in advertisements to promote food or drinks in such a way as to undermine the need for a healthy diet, taking into account Food and Nutrition Guidelines for children.

(xii) Advertisements should not make a direct appeal to purchase unless the product is likely to interest children and one that they could reasonably afford. Mail order advertisers should take care not to promote products that are unsuitable for children.

(xiii) Advertisements should not exaggerate what is attainable by an ordinary child as a result of using the product being advertised or promoted;

(xiv) Advertisements should not actively encourage children to eat excessively throughout the day or to replace main meals with confectionery or snack foods;

(xv) Advertisements should not exploit children’s susceptibility to charitable appeals and should explain the extent to which their participation will help in any charity- linked promotions; and

(xvi) All advertisements related to children should not encourage excessive purchases in order to participate in events. If there is reference to a competition for children in the advertisement, the value of prizes and the chances of winning must not be exaggerated

(xvii) Advertisements soliciting responses incurring a fee to telephone or text should state, “children, ask your parents first” or similar words.

(xviii) Extreme care should be taken in requesting or recording the names, addresses and other personal details of children to ensure that children’s privacy and rights are fully protected and the information is not used in an inappropriate manner.

6. All advertisements must bear in mind and comply with Food, Nutrition and other Guidelines for children issued by the Government of Malaysia or Industry Bodies within the country.

Medicinal and Related Products and Advertisements Containing Health Claims

1. Preamble
1.1 Special care should be taken by advertisers to ensure that the spirit, as well as the letter of the Code, is scrupulously observed.

2. Interpretation
2.1 The word “product” in this Part is to be taken to refer also to treatments and courses of treatment and to medical devices, except where the context does not permit, or as expressly provided otherwise.

3. Scope
3.1 This section of the Code applies to the following categories of advertisements:

(i) Those for medicines, medical or surgical treatment and medical devices

(ii) Those for toiletry and other products which claim or imply therapeutic or prophylactic qualities

(iii) Those for any product, which is advertised, whether wholly or in part, upon the basis that it may improve, restore or maintain the user’s health or his physical or mental condition

3.2 Individual advertisements published by or under the authority of a Government Ministry or Department and advertisements addressed directly to registered medical or dental practitioners, pharmacists, registered medical auxiliaries or nurses, are excluded from the application of the restrictions within this section of the Code as are from time to time considered inappropriate, bearing in mind the source of the advertisement or the professional qualifications of those to whom it is addressed; provided always that such advertisements conform in every respect

Children and Young People