safefood welcome new Code of Practice on non-broadcast advertising of High Fat Sugar Salt Foods

14 February, 2018. safefood welcomes the new Code of Practice on non-broadcast advertising of High Fat Sugar Salt Foods (HFSS) such as snack foods and confectionary. As a working group member, we have played an active role in its development.

This Code represents an important step in addressing our children’s obesogenic environment in addition to the current Broadcasting Authority (BAI) regulations on restriction of broadcast advertising of HFSS foods to children.

The Code is unique as it the first in Europe to address sponsorship. Our research indicates that parents in particular will welcome this move by the Dept. of Health. In a survey¹ by safefood, 77% of parents told us they were concerned about sponsorship of events by snack food, sugary drinks and confectionary products and 78% would support its complete removal.

The Code introduces a guideline for supermarkets to have one in four check-outs "sweet free". Previous safefood research² found that almost 1 in 3 parents (32%) said they would be more likely to shop at those supermarkets that ban junk food at check-outs.

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood commented;

Much of online marketing is targeted at children and teens and tends to focus on unhealthy food and drink options. This advertising environment is extremely complex and ever-changing and parents tend not to appreciate the very real effect it has on children’s preferences. The code is a genuine first step which will have to be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is having impact and is fit-for-purpose.”

“Our recently-launched MediaWise educational resource for primary schools has also been developed to help children learn about advertising and media and enable them to make healthier choices in the face of the many hundreds of media messages they are exposed to every day”, added Dr Foley-Nolan.

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For more information or to request an interview please contact

Dermot Moriarty / Julie Carroll


Tel: +353 1 448 0600

Mob: +353 (0) 86 381 1034 (Dermot)/ +353 (0) 86 601 6005. (Julie)


¹Ipsos MRBI / safefood ‘Safetrak No.18’; survey of 805 parents, face-to-face on the island of Ireland; January 2017.

²Millward Brown / safefood ‘Safetrak No.15’; survey of 801 parents, face-to-face on the island of Ireland; January 2014.

Editor’s notes

MediaWise is a free resource providing 32 lesson plans with 8 lessons for each of the four age groups across primary school. Lessons are suitable for each class grade, linking with a variety of curricular subjects, and using all teaching methodologies including interactive, child-friendly activities. The resource was developed with the input of teachers and an expert group drawn from education, advertising, media and regulation. For more visit