If you’re a parent, you need to watch this.

If you’re marketer, you need to watch this.

The European Union has framework legislation in place, which sets down minimum provisions on advertising to children for its 27 member States. The EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive sets out several EU-wide rules on advertising and children:

Advertising shall not cause moral or physical detriment to minors, and shall therefore comply with the following criteria for their protection:

a. it shall not directly exhort minors to buy a product or a service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity;

b. it shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised;

c. it shall not exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or other persons;

d. it shall not unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations

In addition:

e. Children’s programmes may only be interrupted if the scheduled duration is longer than 30 minutes

f. Product placement is not allowed in children’s programmes.

g. The Member States and the Commission should encourage audiovisual media service providers to develop codes of conduct regarding the advertising of certain foods in children’s programmes.

I don’t believe in regulation. Too many loopholes, not enough understanding from the legislative side how marketing works. I believe in two forces: Self-regulation of the marketing industry and parenting.

The marketing industry needs to help create aware customers.

We have to help children understand capitalism and the commercial world step by step. Ethical marketing equips children to resist marketing. It helps create aware customers. It refuses to take advantage of the naivety of children.

It should be part of any school curriculum and basic parenting.

And, most importantly, we have to educate our children better

It’s a daily struggle to fight off the siren songs of candy, cartoon characters placed on every available product and the nagging/whining of your child. But, we have no choice.

Or, they will end up like this.