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Poland: New bill on the advertising of junk food to children

The Polish Ministry of Culture is currently working on a set of amendments to the laws on TV and radio broadcasting. The planned amendments will include a full ban on the advertising of unhealthy food to children under the age of 12. The amendments are yet to be approved by Parliament, but have already been deemed part of a general move, in Poland, aimed at limiting children’s access to products considered to be unhealthy and which lead to child obesity, as well as other related diseases.

The Polish parliament has recently passed a bill on the ban on selling and advertising unhealthy products in schools amending the Act on Food Safety (which amendments are planned to enter into force at the beginning of the Polish school year, that being 1 September 2015). If the amendments to the laws on TV and radio broadcasting are also passed, the broadcasters will also be obliged to refrain from showing unhealthy products before and after TV/radio programs directed at children below the age of 12.

The existing draft covers no details as to what exactly is to be banned; this is to be specified in a separate implementing act. However, it will be highly likely that this will directly relate to products such as chocolate, sweets, sweet drinks (sodas), and crisps, etc. Hence, the planned bill will fall in line with the agreement entered into in October 2014 by and between the group of major Polish broadcasters on their self-regulation of the advertising of food and drinks to children below the age of 12.

The above changes to the legislative landscape in Poland mean that the manufacturers of food products, in particular snacks, may need to adjust their marketing strategies to assure their full compliance with law.