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Child idols banned

Every parent knows the situation: your child wants to buy certain cookies, with the Minions pictured on the packaging, or Dora The Explorer. The Stop Unhealthy Food Marketing to Kids Coalition could not stand it any longer and it is about to change. For a while, there has been regulations on advertising for foodstuffs: they may not be targeted at children of twelve years and younger. Concerning ‘healthy’ foodstuffs, the ban is slightly less strict: advertising may not be targeted at children under seven years old. Up until recently, the packaging of foodstuffs was not included in this ban, just like in-store advertising (Point-of-Sale material). This will change.
Child idols on packaging for foodstuffs will disappear. The so called Licensed Media Characters targeted at children of twelve years old or younger (or, for ‘healthy’ foodstuffs under seven) will be banned. So no more Minions, Dora’s, Gnome Plops or SpongeBob SquarePants on the packaging of cookies, candy and other snacks and also not on oatmeal and muesli.

Not only animation figures coming from movies and comic books fall under the concept ‘Child Idols’, but also characters from other channels like videogames. By looking at user profiles on the internet and Kijkwijzer recommendations, the age-indication will be determined. The ban is valid for child idols that are known from media, movies or games. Regarding animation figures that the producer of the foodstuffs designed themselves: they can remain on the packaging.

The last Dora- and Minion packaging for foodstuffs will be out of the supermarkets on July 1st 2020.

For the Advertising Code for Foodstuffs, follow this link

Ebba Hoogenraad, advertising lawyer

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