Recent developments in Australian advertising of food products, industry policy and regulatory requirements

Since 1998, Ad Standards Australia is the advertising industry body that has managed the complaint resolution process under Australia’s co-regulated advertising industry requirements. The concept of co-regulation is that government regulators such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) expect Ad Standards Australia to monitor and assess complaints in relation to advertising while the ACCC can impose harsher sanctions and prosecutor measures or court litigation against the worst offenders. Ad Standards Australia applies Codes of Practice for advertisers and marketers in Australia. These Codes of Practice also apply to the advertising of food and beverage products, and breach can result in significant practical and commercial implications for food marketers and brand owners. In this article, we explore the top issues to consider when advertising food products to avoid being found in breach by Ad Standards Australia, taking account of recent case examples considered by the Ad Standards board.