Mexico Regulates Advertising in the Metaverse

Mexico Regulates Advertising in the Metaverse

  • The measure approved by the Mexican government seeks to protect children from advertising related to consumer products with health warning labels.
  • Large national brands such as Tigre Toño and Osito Bimbo are some of the most affected by the updated advertising regulations.
  • Companies will have to change their advertising strategies regarding the consumer target and adapt them to the Mexican market.

The Mexican government recently approved regulating advertising related to food products for mass consumption that is directed at minors, in traditional and digital media in the country, including in the metaverse.

The legal norm that is part of the latest update of the Regulation of the General Health Law on Advertising, establishes restrictions for digital advertising of food brands that contain at least one nutritional warning seal.

The approved restrictions include open and cable television, as well as movie theaters, digital and internet platforms, and virtual spaces. From now on, any product brand that wants to advertise in these spaces must have an official permit.

This is established in article 22 Bis of the approved regulation, which stipulates that advertising permits will be issued by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) if the advertising pieces are aimed at people over 13 years of age.

"This is going to apply to everything that happens on the Internet, from websites to the metaverse. To everything that happens on the network," explained the partner of the legal firm Escartín Abogados, Rodrigo Escartín, to the Expansión newspaper.

The lawyer said that the regulator will determine what type of advertising will be suitable for those under 12 years of age. According to its own criteria, it will then allow or not allow children’s food brands to advertise on the internet and other digital platforms.

Cofepris has not yet published the criteria on the procedure companies must follow to request the respective advertising permits, Escartín said. 

The new regulations exclude from digital advertising well-known characters from Mexican brands such as Osito Bimbo, Tigre Toño, and Chester Cheto, among others, who appear on the packaging of cereals, fried foods, or cupcakes.

Loss of Virtual Space

According to the expert, the advertising regulation update means a loss of space for companies to promote their products. Previously, these restrictions were limited to packaging, but regulations are now extending to new spaces such as the metaverse, he added.

Now the challenge for national and foreign brands will be to change their advertising strategies on all platforms, explained the associate creative director at Rojo Colectivo, Iván García. Instead of including children, they will now have to direct their messages to the parents, who are the ones who actually make the purchase decision.

He points out that on platforms like Facebook there will be no problem, because it is assumed that children under 13 years of age do not have access. But, "in the case of metaverse or augmented and virtual reality experiences, including applications, it must be specified in the terms of use that this advertising is for users over 12 years of age," Garcia said.

Another drawback that arises for transnational food companies with a presence in the country is the adjustment of their advertising strategies to the market and Mexican regulatory standards. Companies, in general, carry out global campaigns with some variants by country according to their culture or consumption habits.

On the Flipside

  • Although the Mexican government considers it a public health issue, not everyone agrees with the measure. Lawyer Efraín Olmedo, the intellectual property advisor to the Santamarina + Steta law firm, called the decision “a hostile measure for a healthy commercial ecosystem.”

Why You Should Care

  • Since the end of 2021, Mexicans have increased their investments in companies from the metaverse that are listed on Wall Street, according to the investment firm Flink.
  • Mexico is the largest consumer of processed foods in Latin America and the fourth largest worldwide.
  • The country has been fighting diabetes and obesity rates among its population for several decades, which worsened during the covid-19 pandemic.


More articles related to the metaverse and Mexico can be found in the following links:

DecentWorld Announces Exclusive Giveaway Event for True Metaverse Enthusiasts

Metaverse as a Virtual Land of Opportunities for Business Owners

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