On January 16, 2020, the National Consumer Secretariat ("SENACON"), a branch the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, started a public consultation on the draft of the new ordinance on advertising for children. The public consultation's objective is a regulation that balances the constitutional mission of the Brazilian Government of effectively protecting children and adolescents - considered to be hyper vulnerable consumers - with the constitutional rights related to free advertising initiative.
The draft defines "advertising" as "any message, conveyed in written form, through sounds or through sounds and images, which, directly or indirectly, in analog or digital media, seeks to promote the consumption of the advertiser's products or services" and establishes guidelines and limits for its placement, which are very similar to those contained in the Brazilian Advertising Self-Regulation Code (the "CONAR Code"). Among these limits and guidelines, we may find the following highlights:
- Any merchandising action or indirect advertising that uses children, elements of the children's universe, or other devices with the deliberate purpose of capturing the attention of this specific public, regardless of the vehicle used, is prohibited;
- In the segmented content, created, produced or programmed specifically for the child audience, whatever the vehicle used, the advertising of products and services intended exclusively for that audience will be restricted to commercial breaks;
- It is forbidden to employ children and adolescents as models to present a direct appeal, recommendation or suggestion for use or consumption, although their participation is allowed for relevant service or product demonstrations;
- Advertising of products whose sale to children and adolescents is forbidden must clearly express this prohibition.
Finally, the proposed text also sets out the conformity criteria that should be followed by advertisements and establishes specific rules for some product segments - such as soft drinks, firearms, alcoholic beverages, and pharmaceutical products.
Suggestions and comments on the ordinance's draft may be sent to SENACON until February 27, 2020, through an online form – available on the website: https://www.novo.justica.gov.br/news/senacon-realiza-consultapublica-sobre-regulamentacao-da-publicidade-infantil.
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.