'Misguided, unfounded, ineffective': Trade bodies react to junk food ad ban
In its latest bid to tackle obesity, the UK government has confirmed plans to ban all advertising of "unhealthy" foods before the 9pm watershed across both TV and online.
The government is also planning a consultation on whether to end online ads for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) altogether.
In addition, the new obesity strategy includes a ban on "buy one, get one free" deals on HFSS foods, while new restrictions on where such foods can be promoted in store and new rules for displaying calories on menus are to be introduced.
The initiative comes as evidence that obesity causes an increased risk from Covid-19 grows. It is to launch alongside a new Public Health England campaign - "Better Health" - which aims to help improve people's health and fitness as the nation comes out of lockdown.
However, the news has been met with widespread dismay across the media and advertising industry. Critics note the damaging consequences the ban will have on media owners and advertisers as they attempt to recover from the business impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the evidence that suggests ad bans have little to no effect on calorie consumption.
Here is what the sector's leading trade bodies had to say: