Advertising to children and the influence of advertising on children are high on the political agenda in the UK and globally; they are equally high on advertisers' agendas. 

ISBA and our sister bodies in the advertising industry take these challenges and responsibilities very seriously. Advertising codes, here and globally, reflect the need to provide higher levels of protection for children. Our codes provide this protection, defining children as under 16.


May 2016 

The proposal paper from CAP is now open to public consultation asking questions about the nutrient profile model and restrictions on HFSS foods and soft Drink

August 2015

ISBA asks Committee of Advertising Practice to review the possible use of nutrient profiling in non broadcast advertising.

18 March 2015

 The Mother's Union publishes 'Bye Buy Childhood' report

Read the full report here >


5 February 2015

Study on marketing soft drink and food advertsing to children online

Full report: HERE


11 August 2014

Alcohol codes working says ISBA

Protecting Children in a commercial world 

Responsible advertising is at the heart of ISBA’s activities. Whilst we reject campaign group calls for a commercial free childhood we do strongly believe that advertisers have a special duty of responsibility when advertising to children. The UK Advertising Codes are a major contribution to protecting children and 

helping parents. For example pester power, now banned by the EU, has been prohibited in the UK for many years.

As the significance of digital media grows, not least for children’s access to content, it becomes ever more important for advertisers, parents and government to work together to equip children and families with the knowledge of how to avoid undesirable content.

With the AA we made inputs to the Buckingham Review and the Bailey Review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. The advertising industry set up the Children’s Panel at the Advertising Association to review practices and advise the industry about our codes. Advertisers, supported by industry bodies have signed the Children's Pledge not to use Brand Ambassadors or Peer-to-Peer marketing with children. The ASA have also set up the ParentPort website in response to the Review

ISBA is a member of the Responsible Advertising and Children Programme, a cross industry group brought together in Brussels and the USA by the World Federation of Advertisers. For advice about the EU Food Pledge visit the food advertising pages.

Advice and education 

ISBA and the Department for Education co-authored Working with Schools - best practice principles which aims to guide schools and business on the need for great care when allowing messages into schools. The key message is that the educational benefits must outweigh the business ones.

A similar set of guidance is provided with ISBA support by Consumer Focus Scotland, together with more joint guidance on Commercial Sponsorship in the Public Sector.

More help for advertisers working in schools is provided by the Media Smart project. Detailed lesson plans and audio visual material is available for teachers to help primary school children understand advertising and the purpose of these commercial messages. The digital lessons are also available for schools as are the resources for social media Media smart has also provided material for schools and parents about Body Image which will be published this summer. In Feb 2014 Media Smart launched an animated talking piece for parents to view with their children explaining issues online.

Industry best practice and links to the rules on advertising to children can also be found at the CHECK website, hosted by the Advertising Association.


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