(Sept. 10/17) Health Canada’s extreme approach to restricting marketing to kids will limit how restaurants can communicate with their adult customers. In fact, it will make it hard for our industry to market their products and services to any audience in Canada.
Why the restrictions are too extreme
The government is defining “children” as those under the age of 17. We support strengthening current measures that limit advertising to children, but we find this wider age limit too restrictive. Unlike with child-directed marketing, it’s impossible to separate marketing directed at teenagers and young adults from marketing to everyone else
Why the restrictions?
In the last election, the federal government promised stricter rules for marketing to kids, with a plan to “introduce new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec.” However, Quebec’s restrictions only apply to children under the age of 13.
What we’re doing about it
All food organizations were excluded from discussions on this issue, but Restaurants Canada took part in an online consultation this summer. The online questions suggest the government plans to use narrow nutrition criteria that would ban the marketing of almost all restaurant meals. See our responses to the online questions.
We will keep you updated on this issue. If you have questions, contact our Member Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.