The German Advertising Standards Council / Code of Conduct on Commercial Communication for foods and beverages

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Establishing common rules of conduct on commercial communication on food, particularly for vulnerable groups

In Germany, food advertising adheres to the rules of conduct of the German Advertising Standard Council, a self-regulatory framework for responsible marketing.

The German Advertising Standards Council is an institution of the 43 organisations of advertisers, the media, advertising agencies, the advertising professions and research establishments represented by the German Advertising Federation (ZAW).

In addition to the German Advertising Standards Council’s rules of conduct, in 2009, the German food sector together with the ZAW established specific common rules of conduct on commercial communication on food for the entire food sector, the media, and retailer and advertising agencies.

These comprehensive rules include the use of all communication tools, i.e. traditional advertising as well as sponsorship or advertising in digital media and networks. The focus is in particular on vulnerable groups such as children. For example, commercial communication for foods and beverages must not contain direct demand messages for purchase or consumption addressed to children. Commercial communication for foods and beverages also must not contain messages that incite children to induce their parents, other adults or other children to purchase the advertised product.