Industry ups ante in children’s debate

Advertising lobbyists are carrying out research to thwart Sweden’s attempts to extend its ban on TV advertising to children across the continent.

Advertising lobbyists are carrying out research to thwart Sweden’s

attempts to extend its ban on TV advertising to children across the

continent.



The report, to be published next month, aims to expose Swedish thinking

as out of touch and without widespread support.



At the same time, Britain’s Advertising Association is calling a

conference of interested parties from across Europe - to be held in

London in November - to find out if a widely agreed set of rules could

be established.



The initiatives are part of a major campaign by advertisers, media

owners and agencies, exclusively revealed by Campaign (5 February), to

fend off Sweden’s plans to crack down on children’s advertising when it

takes over the European Union presidency in January 2001.



Plans for the so-called Children’s Programme were agreed at a meeting

last week between representatives of the food advertisers, TV companies

and ad agencies which together fund the AA’s Food Advertising Unit, as

well as the World Federation of Advertisers and John Hooper, the

director-general of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers.



Lionel Stanbrook, the AA’s deputy director-general, said: ’Sweden is the

only country in Europe which bans TV advertising to children. Instead of

Sweden setting the agenda, it should be the other way round.’



At present, the initiative is confined to the members of the Advertising

Information Group, whose leading members are the AA and its equivalent

organisations in Germany and Holland. But Stanbrook said the intention

was to extend the initiative to all major European markets.



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