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Advertisers are sure to join political parties in recognising the need to tackle the growth in obesity are rising weight levels. The Labour policy document shares this concern, especially for the costs to the NHS. Some emphasis is given to empowering consumers to make choices in food consumption and exercise but this is followed not by behavioural programmes to achieve change but direct State intervention in pricing, packaging and food recipes.
Ian Twinn, ISBA’s Director of Public Affairs said:
“The presentation is little more than a pick and mix of wishes or bids from campaigners that have been check listed to match the pressure groups particular prejudices. There are good proposals in the paper to support giving people, in particular younger persons, more information on a healthier lifestyle and the goal to get 50% of the UK psychical active by 2025, but specific policy proposals like the absolute limit of the % of fat, sugar and salt in the make-up of foods that are advertised to children is vague and almost certainly full of holes. For example the style of advertising is the determinate of whether the product is affected or not.
Using advertising techniques as a predictive tool for major industrial intervention lacks an evidence base and is open to challenge."
Barbara Gallani, director of regulation, science and health at the Food and Drink Federation, the industry body, has given a warning against “unworkable limits on certain nutrients”.
She said that “educating families on what an appropriate portion size looks like, as well as frequency of consumption, is key rather than the introduction of unworkable limits on certain nutrients which would jeopardise the quality of some of the world-renowned foods that are made in the UK”.
Andy Burnham highlights campaigners’ view that because children see ads when watching adult programming these ads should be removed from the TV.
Ian Twinn said: “We welcome the announcement that Labour will work with the ASA to look at ad regulation protecting children, but it must be a two way conversation, based on evidence. It will not work if he only asks us in the advertising industry rules making Committee (CAP and BCAP) to agree with him or face legislation. So far no one arguing this case has come up with serious evidence or arguments of based on proportionality.”
“This policy announcement looks like another lost opportunity to work with officials, business and the medical profession to achieve significant changes in eating habits and life style.”
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ISBA welcomes the developments within Facebook regarding placing warnings over videos posted to its site. The warnings prevent the videos from automatically playing in feeds unless they are clicked (unlike other clips). The site is also preventing graphic videos and photos from being accessed by users who have identified themselves as being under 18 years of age.
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ISBA, the Voice of British Advertisers, has signed up 33 members in 2014 setting a new record with the highest number of new members joining for the past decade.
ISBA most recently welcomed Dixons Carphone, Post Office and TSB to its member base.
The latest Advertising Association/Warc report predicts 2014-2015 to be the strongest consecutive growth years for UK adspend this century, despite it being a more cautious outlook than previously.