IPA backs junk food ad ruling

LONDON - The IPA has welcomed new non-broadcast food ad rules as a positive step towards lessening the perceived link between advertising and obesity.

The new rules, drawn up by the Committee of Advertising Practice, cover press, posters, and paid-for internet space. They state that food and soft drinks advertisers should not promote unhealthy lifestyles, use hard sell techniques and celebrities, or encourage excessive consumption of  the products advertised.

IPA's legal director Marina Palmomba said: "The rules go further than those for television commercials and television programme sponsorship, and apply to all food and drink products except for fresh fruit and vegetables, as such the rules ought to be welcomed by those critical of advertising as the alleged, albeit unsubstantiated, cause of obesity."

But the National Heart Forum denounced the rules as a missed opportunity.

Jane Landon, deputy chief executive of the Forum, said they failed to address the frequency and volume of food and drink advertising to children and risked creating confusion amongst advertisers, regulators and the public.

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