So far in 2014 and based on the fundamental rights of health and the greater interest of childhood, the Mexican government has taken different measures in sanitary regulation matters in order to fight obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, which have become serious public health problems in Mexico.

Derived from the above, a set of Guidelines were published in the Official Gazette of the Federation that shall be complied by the food and non-alcoholic advertisers: The Guidelines in advertising matters and the Guidelines in labeling matters.

The Guidelines in advertising matters have the objective to restrict the advertising of food and beverages with high caloric content in the hours destined to children audience, taking into account that children are not capable to achieve an abstract way of thinking, thus they can assume that the advertising contain absolute messages.

This way, the advertising of goods with high caloric content can only be transmitted in open and cable T.V. within the following schedule: Monday through Friday from 0:00am to 14:30 pm and from 19:30 pm to 23:59 pm; Saturday and Sundays from 0:00 am to 7:00 am and from 19:30 pm to 23:59 pm; and in movie theatres during the showing of films rated B, B15, C or D (which are not for a children audience).

Food and non-alcoholic beverages with high caloric content that wish to be advertised in different hours than the ones mentioned above, shall request a permission to COFEPRIS (Mexican health regulatory office) for which they shall demonstrate that the audience of the hours in which these will be transmitted does not include more than 35% within the range from 4 to 12-year old. For the remaining goods that do not require permission, it shall be mandatory to present a notification before this authority.

On the other hand, the Guidelines on food and beverages labeling matter, they have the objective to make the commercial information of these goods as clear as possible. The following are some of the main requirements:

  • The nutritional information of the goods shall be at the front of the container so it can be considered as informative, visible and readable.
  • The containers of food and beverages considered as singles shall communicate the saturated fat, other fats, total sugar, sodium and energy for the total content of the container. For family containers, the content shall be per serving or pieces; however, it must state the total kilocalories per container and the number of servings in it.
  • A voluntary nutritional distinctive is created. Those who are interested in obtaining it shall comply with determined nutritional requirements established in the guidelines and request it in writing to the COFEPRIS.

The restrictions in advertisement matters were in full force and effect as of July, 2014 for snacks, flavored beverages, chocolates, and candies. For the remaining foods and non-alcoholic beverages they shall be in full force and effect as of January 1st, 2015. Regarding the labeling requirements, the companies shall have until April 15, 2015 to adapt their labels to the new guidelines.

In A&L we may answer to any doubts or comments related to the recent reforms in advertising and labeling matters, advice regarding the standing of your goods and support you with the submission of advertising notifications and the obtaining of the corresponding permissions.

Originally published August 25, 2014

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.