French broadcasters and advertisers expand commitments to promote healthy lifestyles

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19/12/2013
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On 21 November, the French broadcasting authority (CSA) endorsed an updated version of the “Charte Alimentaire” (Food Charter), signed by advertisers, producers, broadcasters, and six Ministers. The scope of new Charter is significantly expanded as new TV channels sign up to the initiative, now applicable to internet and catch-up TV services, as well as in French overseas territories.

The Charter – which aims to promote a balanced diet on television - was first endorsed in 2009 for a period of five years. The new Charter extends the number of commitments from six to 14 and the number of TV operators from 19 to 36 (signatories now include cable television network 'TNT' and regional channels). Like previous signatories, new channels will incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle messages on food and beverage TV spots.

In addition, the “Conseil Paritaire de la Publicité” – an expert committee in charge of drafting new self-regulatory standards – commits to organizing hearings with policy-makers and other stakeholders before releasing guidance on the following topics: Consumer environment, fictional and on-screen characters, and unsustainable patterns of behaviour (food waste).

Key new provisions applicable as of 1 January 2014:

The provisions of the Charter are extended to TV operators' internet websites and to catch-up TV services;
By broadening the scope of the Charter, the signatories also extend the role of the French SRO ARPP which pre-clears adverts for catch-up TV;
The Charter will be applicable in French overseas territories
TV channels commit to broadcast additional hours of programming - between 587 and 753 hours - promoting a healthy lifestyle, including in youth programme;
Such programming will always refer to the Health Ministry website "mangerbouger.fr", whose popularity has significantly increased over the years;
The CSA will evaluate the impact of such programming during the course of the next five years.

"Viewers rightly agree with the need to tackle obesity and, more broadly, with the aim to promote a balanced diet and regular physical activity," said Olivier Schrameck , CSA President. "This conventional approach has allowed us to avoid introducing tighter regulation on food advertising in youth programmes," he added.


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