Mediatel Logo original-file's-desc Mediatel Logo Connected: Display Connected: Media Landscape Connected: Regional Connected: AV Connected: Surveys Connected: Direct LinkedIn LinkedIn logo icon Twitter Twitter logo icon Youtube Youtube logo icon Flickr Flickr logo icon Instagram Instagram logo icon Mail Mail icon Down arrow

Junk food ad-ban in new childhood obesity proposals

25 Jun 2018  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Junk food ad-ban in new childhood obesity proposals

Further restrictions on junk food and drink advertising are being considered as part of government plans to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

New measures announced by health and social secretary Jeremy Hunt also target supermarkets and restaurants, with proposals including a ban on unhealthy snacks at checkouts, mandatory calorie labelling in restaurants, and banning the sale of energy drinks to children.

Of concern to adland, however, is the government's call on the industry to recognise the harm adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt can cause.

The government will consult on the introduction of new TV and online advertising restrictions to prevent advertisers targeting children with unhealthy products.

In consideration is an extension to the current advertising watershed, plus limitations on the number of HFSS food and drink adverts shown during children's programmes up to 9pm.

"It is near impossible to shield children from exposure to unhealthy foods. Parents are asking for help," said Hunt.

"It’s our job to give power to parents to make healthier choices, and to make their life easier in doing so."

Meanwhile, according to Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association, UK advertising rules are already some of the strictest in the world, with high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) advertising banned across all media where under-16s make up more than 25% of the audience.

"All of these measures mean that there have been dramatic falls over the last decade in the exposure of under-16s to HFSS advertising," he said.

The advertising industry is "always ready" to support "evidence-based and proportionate action" if it will have a positive and measureable impact on people's lives, Woodfood continued.

However, research shows that advertising bans have little impact on the complex factors that cause obesity, he said.

"Here in the UK, interventions such as The Daily Mile in schools have been successful as they are simple, cost-free and inclusive and not only impact on obesity level, but improve behaviour, academic performance and children's wellbeing.

"This is exactly the sort of partnership needed to tackle Britain's obesity challenge and we look forward to engaging further with Government on this hugely important issue."

Similarly, ISBA opposes the introduction of a 9pm watershed and has stressed the importance of reaching a simple, evidence-led outcome.

"It is vital that government recognise the steps already taken in this area and balance the ability of advertisers to communicate products to adult audiences with the need to address the issue of childhood obesity," said James Barge, director of public affairs at ISBA.

"Of course any proposals should be justified with clear targets and independently assessed to assure government, industry and the public of their efficacy over time."

Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment - a copy has now been sent to the Mediatel Newsline team who will review it shortly. Please note that the editor may edit your comment before publication.

CraigMills, Sales Manager, World`s Fair on 25 Jun 2018
“Here`s a radical thought, why not leave all the advertising exactly as it is but let kids go outside to play. Playing sports, riding bikes etc burns off calories as opposed to sitting at home on an xbox or other similar computer consoles.”

DATA SNAPSHOT

13 Dec 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
Find out more about the UK's most comprehensive aggregator of media data.

Arrange a demo
Advertisement

Newsline Bulletins

Receive weekly round-ups of the latest comment, opinion and media news, direct to your inbox.

More Info

Join thousands more readers by signing-up to receive our trusted news and opinion articles over email.

 

Please read our privacy policy.

As you're already registered with us, we've sent you an email which will allow you to manage your communication preferences.

Nice one. We've emailed you for verification. We'd like to get to know you and if you give us your details we promise not to share it with others or spam you.

Please complete the following fields:

 

Please read our privacy policy.

//-->