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Slippery Slope or Visionary Move? Restricting OOH Food and Drink Advertisers Near Schools

Time to Build an OOH Buffer Zone Around Schools? Or Not?

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illustration of discretionary foods and drinks per Australian Department of Health

A world first industry-led policy implemented by Out of Home in Australia

 

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) developed a new policy to help Australians make healthy choices.  The OMA new policy is aimed at limiting the public’s exposure to discretionary food and drinks. The National Health and Wellbeing Policy restricts the advertising of discretionary food and drink products on Out of Home (OOH) signs within a 150 (492 feet) meter sightline of a school. (140 meters (459 ft) is considered the limit to readability.)  

The new policy will restrict fast food, soft drinks, chips, candy, you get the picture. We did not receive a response from the OMA before post time. We get alcohol and similar products but fast food? Chips? Soda Pop?

This seems like an unnecessary slippery slope to us. We get it. We don’t agree with it. TV, Radio, ok maybe not radio, Social Media, will still be broadcasting the discretionary foods and drinks.  And there is so much more like exercise, which impacts weight.  It will be interesting to see the results it has on levels of obesity with youngsters in the coming years. 

The Policy aims to meet community expectations and support government efforts to tackle overweight and obesity in Australia. The Policy will come to effect on 1 July 2020.

Anyone in the States support restricting discretionary Foods and Drink? Leave comments below.

 

 

From left to right: Charles Parry-Okeden, Chairman of the OMA; John O’Neill, CEO of QMS Media; Andrew Tyquin, Managing Director of Outdoor Systems; Kirsty Dollisson, Managing Director of TorchMedia; Steve O’Connor, CEO of JCDecaux; Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the OMA and Brendon Cook, CEO of oOh!media.

 

Outdoor Media Association launches world-first Health and Wellbeing Policy to help Australians make healthy choices

 

The Out of Home (OOH) industry in Australia has united through the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) to take an active role in limiting the public’s exposure to discretionary food and drinks. The industry will also donate up to $3 million each year to promote healthy diets and lifestyle choices on its signs.

The national OMA Health and Wellbeing Policy restricts the advertising of discretionary food and drink products on Out of Home signs within a 150 meter sightline of a school. The Policy aims to meet community expectations and support government efforts to tackle overweight and obesity in Australia.

The OMA has closely consulted with industry, food groups, advertisers, health promotion experts and government and conducted extensive research on Australian and international best practice to inform this world-first policy.

The Policy features include:

  • Discretionary food and drink product advertising to be restricted from areas within 150 metres* of a primary of secondary school in Australia. Food and drink advertising to be based on Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Health Star Rating system.

  • $3 million of advertising space across Australia every year donated to feature targeted advertising campaigns supporting healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

  • Full creative support from the OOH industry to create efficacious and meaningful campaigns that will reach the targeted audience.

  • Compliance monitoring of the national restrictions with annual reports provided to state and federal governments.

  • Annual meetings to be held with key industry stakeholders and health promotion experts to assess the implementation and efficacy of the restrictions and the educational programs.

“The Health and Wellbeing Policy reflects the fact that the Out of Home industry has listened to the community and government and pro-actively introduced a new voluntary self-regulating code to address what has become a critical issue in Australian society. Almost one in four children is overweight or obese and this complex problem requires a comprehensive set of policies and programs to help Australians lead healthier lives,” OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said.

“We are concurrently placing a strong emphasis on education with $3 million of advertising available for health promotion campaigns every year.

“The Out of Home industry is proud to take a leadership position with the world’s first industry-backed, national restriction policy for discretionary food on outdoor advertising. As experts in advertising, we want to use the power of Out of Home to make a real difference.”

The OMA has consulted with the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC), the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation on the new policy.

John Broome, CEO of the AANA said: “Advocating high ethical and professional standards across Australia’s marketing community is at the center of the AANA’s work and we support the Outdoor industry’s approach to discretionary food and drink advertising.”

With more than a decade’s experience in implementing and monitoring targeted geographical ‘place-based’ policies, the OOH industry has previously met and exceeded community expectations around the advertising of alcohol, gambling and adult products, ensuring these products are not seen within a 150 meter sightline of schools.

The OMA National Health and Wellbeing Policy will come to effect on 1 July 2020. Visit healthyoutdoor.org for the relevant materials and processes.

Source: *The 150 metre distance used by MOVE is based on the maximum viewing distance of signs. While talking about maximum distance, there are two concepts to clarify, ‘readability’ and ‘visibility’. ‘Readability’ identifies the distance within which the advertisements are readable, while ‘visibility’ identifies the distance within which the images shown are able to attract the human eye’s attention, even if the images are not perfectly identifiable. Both international and Australian research demonstrates that, even for the largest signs, the maximum distance for readability is 140 meters. Building a buffer zone around schools of 150 meters is the most effective way to ensure that signs are not legible from school grounds.

“Almost one in four children is overweight or obese and this complex problem requires a comprehensive set of policies and programs to help Australians lead healthier lives,” says OMA chief executive Charmaine Moldrich.

“As experts in advertising, we want to use the power of out of home (OOH) to make a real difference.”

 

 

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