On March 18th, 2015 the National Council for Self-Regulation hosted a working breakfast. The event was held at the Best Western Plus City Hotel and aimed to present the annual report of the organization, it’s main achievements and challenges.
The data announced by National Council for Self-Regulation showed a reduction in complaints about TV ads. However, they continue to occupy the leading place among complaints (17 complaints in 2014 compared to 20 in 2013), followed by outdoor advertising, which has also declined (4 complaints in 2014 vs. 11 in 2013). Complaints of unsuitable for children ads in 2014 were 7 compared to 9 in 2013 – they take second place in the procedures following complaints about misleading commercial communication (9 in 2014). Sexual stereotypes and discrimination share the third place.
In the past year an increase of violations in internet advertising of dietary supplements has been registered. They are contrary to the Regulation on health and nutrition claims, regulation of advertising of cosmetic products, as well as the Code of Ethics of the NSS. Very often the sites allowing such violations in the ad are registered in countries in which European rules are not valid, which strongly limits the application of mechanisms for self-regulation. For this purpose NSS held several meetings with leading in those areas Bulgarian websites, Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety and the Ministry of Health, at which instruments for control and elimination of those violations have been discussed.
In connection with advertising of food and beverages for children, prof. Duleva, national consultant in nutrition and dietetics and head of the “Food and Nutrition” in NCPHA shared information about the nutritional profiles developed by the World Health Organization. Those profiles set limits for certain nutrients in food groups in order to determine which foods should be subject to advertising to children.
The profiles are voluntary and haven’t been translated into Bulgarian language yet, but they set criteria for restriction of advertising of food and drinks with high content of sugar, added sugar and sweeteners not containing sugar, salt, general fat and saturated fatty acids, energy value above certain quantities intended for children under 12 years.
Representatives of the National Network for Children with others attending the meeting united around the idea of linking nutrient profiles developed by WHO with criteria for assessing content, which is unfavorable or poses a risk to children’s health, developed as part of the partnership agreement between the Council for Elecrtonic Media and the State Agency for Child Protection, according to Article 32, para. 5 of the Law for radio and television.
Translator: Dimitrina Parashkevova, volounteer