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Consumer, Food & Retail Insights

| 2 minutes read

Kidfluencers & The New Children’s Advertising Code

We introduced the AANA in a previous blog post as the leading industry and self-regulatory body for advertisers and marketers in Australia.   As set out in that blog, the AANA has an overarching Code of Ethics which operates alongside more specific Codes, one of which is the Children’s Advertising Code.  In June 2022, the AANA launched a review of this Code which sought to revisit the rules to ensure that they “remain relevant and reflect community expectations” considering the “rapid changes in the way children consume media”. 


As a result, in August 2023, the AANA released the new Children’s Advertising Code (the New Code) which will come into effect on 1 December 2023. Under the New Code, “Children” is defined as persons under the age of 15. 


Key changes

Application of the New Code

The New Code is no longer limited to advertising for children’s products (which was the case under the previous Code), but will extend to include any advertising directed at children to address growing community, industry and government concerns around the impact of advertising on children. There have been several examples over recent years where the Ad Standards Community Panel has considered that the Children’s Advertising Code was not applicable because the product in question was not a children’s product (for example, alcohol beverages, gambling product or motor vehicles). It’s possible that these decisions would go a different way under the New Code, and advertisers should therefore approach with caution.

Under the New Code, “Advertising to Children” means advertising that targets Children and which is determined by the context of the advertisement and the following three criteria: 

  1. Nature and intended purpose of the product being promoted is principally or significantly appealing to Children; 
  2. Presentation of the advertisement content (e.g. theme, images, colours, wording, music and language used) is principally appealing to Children; 
  3. Expected average audience at the time or place the advertisement appears includes a significant proportion of Children (e.g. 25%).


In practice, this means that the New Code:

  • places a clear ban on advertising of hazardous products (e.g. vapes, kava or highly caffeinated drinks) directed to children; and
  • prohibits the encouragement of unsafe practices (e.g. bullying, promoting unhealthy body image, or the use of sexual appeal or imagery) when communicating to children.



The New Code has also shone the spotlight on “kidfluencers” which are becoming more common. The AANA has identified  that children’s ability to recognise influencer advertising is reduced, given the subtle and embedded nature of influencer advertising. As such, the New Code now requires influencer / kidfluencer (live or animated) advertising to children to be disclosed so that the advertising is clearly distinguishable as advertising (e.g. using voiceover and/or large and simple text on screen, such as “Ad”). 


Simplified premium advertising rules 

The New Code has simplified advertising rules on premium (that is, anything offered either free, at a reduced price, or with an additional cost and which is conditional upon the purchase of an advertised product). Advertising to Children which features a Premium must not encourage the purchase of an excessive quantity or irresponsible consumption.


Privacy section

The New Code has removed the privacy section, as the AANA considers that privacy issues are best dealt with under the Australian privacy laws. 


What does this mean for clients?

Businesses and influencers that direct advertising at children should familiarise themselves with the New Code. In addition to the Children’s Advertising Code, businesses and influencers should also note that further protections for children exist within the overarching AANA Code of Ethics, Wagering Advertising Code (e.g. a ban on wagering ads targeting minors), and Food and Beverage Advertising Code (e.g. a ban on occasional food and beverages ads targeting children). 



consumer goods, consumer goods food and retail, food and beverage