Advertisers outline junk food restrictions

Advertising of branded food and soft drink could be banned from children’s programming on terrestrial TV under proposals put forward by a coalition of marketing trade bodies.


The Advertising Association, the IPA, Isba, the Food and Drink Federation, and the Food Advertising Unit confirmed today that they have put forward a series of proposals to restrict junk food advertising to children.

The proposals have been submitted to Ofcom, which is planning to draw up new rules on junk food ads and has come under pressure from MPs and health groups to introduce a 9pm watershed.

If the package, called “The Better Balance”, is adopted there will be no more advertising of any branded foods during children’s programming on terrestrial TV. 

On dedicated children’s channels and GMTV kids programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings, advertising of food and drink would be limited to 30 seconds per hour all day.

In addition, cartoon characters like Scooby Doo, celebrity pop bands like the Spice Girls, movie characters or collectible gifts would no longer be used in ads directly targeted at children.

Andrew Brown, director general of the AA, said: “We are committed to playing our part in tackling childhood obesity and we accept the need for new restrictions on food advertising to children.”

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