On April 11, 2014, the National Council for Self-Regulation (NCSR) hosted a working breakfast at the Best Western Plus City Hotel. The purpose of the meeting was to present the annual report of the organisation as well as key successes and challenges in its work. The data presented by the NCSR showed a reduction in complaints about TV advertisements. TV adverts, however, continued to occupy the main place among the complaints (20 complaints in 2013, compared to 50 in 2012), followed by outdoor advertising, where there has been a significant increase (11 complaints in 2013, compared to 6 in 2012). Complaints about inappropriate adverts for children in 2013 were 9 compared to 8 in 2012, and they take second place in infringement procedures following complaints of misleading commercial communication (of which there were 11 in 2013).
One of the challenges presented at the meeting was the need to attract major operators of outdoor advertising to membership of the NCSR, and for continuing dialogue with branch associations and municipalities over local recognition of the code of conduct and enforcement of the decisions of the NCSR’s ethics commission. One of the initiatives planned for 2014 is working in partnership with branch organisations and representatives of the food industry on concrete commitments to limit adverts that are inappropriate for children. During the meeting, the National Network for Children declared its support for the initiative and a desire for a partnership with a view to its effective planning and implementation.
According to the requirements of commercial communication, under Article 75, paragraph 9 of the Law on Radio and Television, commercial communications must not:
- Create a danger of physical or moral harm to children;
- Directly exhort children to buy or hire a product or service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity;
- Directly encourage children to persuade their parents or others to purchase the advertised goods or services;
- Exploit the special trust that children have in parents, teachers or other individuals;
- Unreasonably show children in dangerous situations.
In addition, under article 32, paragraph 5 of the Law on Radio and Television, the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) and the State Agency for Child Protection (SACP) develop criteria for evaluation of content that is unfavorable or threatens to harm the physical, mental, moral and/or social development of children. The criteria is to be adopted, amended and supplemented by the CEM in agreement with the SACP.
The National Network for Children advocates for the promotion of these criteria and of the NCSR Code of Ethics, and of their observance in advising parents and all interested parties to report to the NCSR and competent institutions when identifying commercial messages and programs that they believe are unsuitable for children and endanger children’s health.
Trasnlator: Morgan James, volunteer