Media Release: ASA strengthens advertising protections for consumers with two comprehensive new Codes

30 April 2024

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is pleased to announce two new Codes have been adopted and will replace the existing Children and Young People’s Advertising Code and the food rules in the Advertising Standards Code in November 2024.

ASA Chief Executive Hilary Souter said the robust new Codes work alongside and are complementary to current legislation, extending advertising restrictions and providing further safeguards for children and consumers.

“The ASA is committed to supporting responsible advertising in New Zealand. The Codes Committee has worked with the ASA over the course of the review to ensure the new Codes will be fit for purpose and set high standards of social responsibility for advertising of food and beverage products, and advertising to children.”

Souter said the ASA was grateful to participants in the Code review, across three consultation phases, for their time and detailed submissions. These submissions provided a range of perspectives and helped to inform the final Codes.

The new Codes are:

  • The Food and Beverage Advertising Code extends safeguards to ensure a high standard of social responsibility for food and beverage advertising to consumers and prevents targeting of occasional food and beverage advertising to children under 16. The new Code strengthens existing restrictions on sponsorship advertisements relating to occasional food and beverage products and includes brand sponsorship advertisements associated with these products.
  • The Children’s Advertising Code provides clear guidelines to ensure advertisements do not encourage unsafe practices, promote bullying, encourage peer pressure or unhealthy body images, or include content that is not age-appropriate for children. The Code extends existing restrictions to ensure a high level of social responsibility in advertising to children under 16 years of age, across all advertising in all media platforms, at all times.

The new Codes will apply to all advertising in all media, and take effect for new advertising on 1 August 2024, and for all advertising from 1 November 2024.

The ASA sets the standards for responsible advertising in New Zealand and runs a free-to-consumer complaints process. In 2022, the ASA announced a shift towards proactive regulation, with a focus on industry education to support compliance with the Codes and minimise Code breaches.

Compliance with the new Codes is supported by comprehensive industry resources and training. The ASA invites the advertising industry who would like to receive updates regarding training opportunities to register their interest on the ASA website.

  • To download a PDF of the report on the new Codes, click here.
  • To view Children’s Advertising Code on the website, click here.
  • To view the Food and Beverage Advertising Code on the website, click here.
  • To view the Guidance Note on Food and Beverage Advertising on the website, click here.
  • To view industry training resources on the new Codes, click here.
  • To view an infographic detailing the number of complaints under the Children and Young People’s Advertising Code, click here.