Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 14, 2007

Call for self-regulation for fast food ads

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:53 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Two advertising bodies have called for self-regulation for fast food advertisements.
The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) and Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA) said the rules for self-regulation could be worked out between them and the Health Ministry.
4As president Datuk Vincent Lee said: “We can self-regulate the fast food advertisements. It is difficult for us to go each time to the ministry to get an approval before it is sent out to the print and electronic media.”
He was commenting on Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s statement that fast food advertisements needed to be approved by the ministry before they were aired or printed.
He said the industry could also regulate their fast food advertisements during children’s programmes.
“We will have to talk this out with the minister when we meet this Thursday. Nothing is conclusive as we are still discussing how best both parties can work this out.”
Lee said the association was prepared to work out a proposal on advertisements, especially for children in accordance with international practice.
“We are aware that according to the World Health Organisation, three countries have banned advertisements on fast food, 51 countries are self-regulating the advertisements and 23 countries have some form of statutory regulations,” he added.
Yesterday, Dr Chua said those in the industry had agreed in principle that they would not air fast food advertisements during children’s programmes.
He also said his ministry would want to regulate the advertisements.
The ministry has given the fast food industry one month to place prominently in their outlets’ announcements on the calorie count of each food item besides stating the average number of calories a person should take a day.
MAA president Peter Dass said the association supported the ministry’s stand on the need to educate and create awareness among Malaysians on what they ate.
“What we are asking is that we self-regulate the fast food advertisements.”
Dass said the MAA could co-operate with the ministry on not advertising, just like other food and drink industries, during children’s programmes, but all this had to be discussed.

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