New HFSS advertising regulations come into play in cinemas

    Author Zoe Aresti

As new Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulations regarding food and drink ads in cinemas come into play, here’s what you need to know for your campaign.

New (non-broadcast) cinema regulations regarding high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) food and drink came into effect in cinemas on Saturday 1 July 2017, which means your campaign could now be at risk.

In short, this means that if your brand or product is not in line with the UK government nutrient profiling model, then you could be at risk of breaking the new rules.

But since the news was announced back in December 2016, Digital Cinema Media has been working closely with the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) to ensure a seamless transition.

If your brand’s product is considered HFSS, it will not be able to run alongside films where children make up 25% of the audience. In addition to product advertising, HFSS brand advertising – in which 50% of the products sold under that brand are considered HFSS – will also be considered and the onus is on agencies to declare their position at an early stage of the process.

HFSS rules have been commonplace in TV media since 2011, so agencies should be used to taking the necessary steps to ensure they are in line with the conditions.

Advertisers/brands are encouraged to complete a nutritional profile certificate, if they want to advertise products or brands in films where 25% of the audience is under 15 and submit this information for copy clearance guidance ahead of the advertiser or brand being scheduled.

DCM is responsible for the ad reel and has put in place processes, in conjunction with guidance from the CAA, regarding the placement of advertising on cinema screens in certain films.

All advertisers/brands that are classified as HFSS will not be able to advertise in HFSS films. Films that carry a HFSS restriction are voted upon in a process like that used by CAA alcohol/gambling panel.

The list of films is available from the CAA and this information will now be used to ensure that the correct ads are placed by DCM and are shown in the permitted films.

DCM's advertising playlist will fully comply with the CAA's guidance, with cinema exhibitors responsible for the rest of the reel.

Please see our one pager download for further assistance. For more guidance on the decision process and the new rules please visit the CAA’s website.