Farm Safety Week 2019 – Advertisers reminded of ASAI Code requirements when creating ads located in an agricultural setting

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland says onus is on advertisers to ensure all advertisements depicting an agricultural setting complies with ASAI code

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To tie in with Farm Safety Week, which takes place from the 15th – 19th July, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), is reminding advertisers of their requirements when creating ads that are set in an agricultural setting.

The organisation, which is the independent self-regulatory body committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland, is particularly keen to highlight what advertisers need to be aware of when featuring children in adverts that have an agricultural focus.

The ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications states that marketing communications should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. It also says that marketing communications shouldn’t encourage or condone dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices as well as additional rules that are specific to children.

It requires advertisers to be mindful that children may imitate what they see in marketing communications, and given that, they should not be encouraged, whether directly or indirectly, to copy any practice that might be unsafe. Full details on relevant aspects of the Code are outlined at the end of this document.

Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, says: “While we are not a safety organisation, our Code contains rules related to safety. Advertisers have a special responsibility around the inclusion of children in marketing communications, including ads that take place in an agricultural setting. Advertisers should be aware of safe distances between children and machinery depicted in ads, as well as the appropriate safety around animals, and other various safety protocols. Essentially, advertisers should not show behaviour that if imitated, could result in a child being hurt.”

“As the independent self-regulatory body committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland, the ASAI aims to lead the way in ensuring all marketing communications are not only legal, decent, honest and truthful; but also safe.”

There are a range of resources that can help in designing advertising that does not show unsafe behaviour and of course, the ASAI are also here to help with our copyadvice@asai.ie service. 

The Code rules that are of particular relevance to this topic are:

3.3        Marketing communications should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.

Safety

3.24      (a) A marketing communication should not encourage or condone dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices.

(b) Where the purpose of a marketing communication is to promote safety, it may be acceptable to portray dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices.

7.2        Children lack adults’ knowledge, experience and maturity of judgement. Marketing communications addressed directly or indirectly to children, or marketing communications likely to be seen or heard by a significant proportion of them, should have regard to the special characteristics of children and the ways in which they perceive and react to marketing communications.

7.3        The way in which children perceive and react to marketing communications is influenced by their age, experience and the context in which the message is delivered. For example, marketing communications that are acceptable for young teenagers will not necessarily be acceptable for younger children. The ASAI will take these factors into account when assessing marketing communications and their compliance with the Code.

7.4        Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to result in physical, mental or moral harm to children or that is likely to frighten or disturb them, except to promote safety or in the public interest. In principle and subject to the qualifications above, the following rules apply.

(c) Children should not be shown in morally or physically dangerous situations or behaving dangerously in the home or outside. Children should not be shown unattended in street scenes unless they are old enough to take responsibility for their own safety.

(e) Where children appear as pedestrians or cyclists, they should be seen to observe the Rules of the Road. Special attention should be paid, where relevant, to the use of child car seats and the wearing of car seat-belts and safety helmets.

(f) Younger children in particular should not be shown using or in close proximity to dangerous substances or equipment without direct adult supervision. Examples include matches, petrol, gas, medicines and certain household substances, as well as certain electrical appliances and machinery, including agricultural equipment.

(h) Given that children may imitate what they see in marketing communications, they should not be encouraged, whether directly or indirectly, to copy any practice that might be unsafe.

To find out more about Farm Safety Week 2019 please visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/farm-safety-week-asai-promotes-children-advertising-orla-twomey

Other useful resources:  www.agrikids.ie | www.hsa.ie | www.ifa.ie

www.asai.ie

Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI