Today the Government have published their response to the consultations on a 9pm watershed on HFSS advertising on TV and on a total online restriction.
ISBA has continued to lobby the Government hard on behalf of our members. Together with other industry bodies, we put forward a well thought-out alternative to the Government’s proposal which would have delivered the desired outcome of tackling child obesity, while using the benefits of targeting technology and stopping avoidable economic harm.
While there have been some concessions on the original proposal – including that the online ban will only apply to paid-for ads – the overall impact on the advertising and food & soft drink industries will be detrimental, with no evidence that it will improve the obesity crisis.
ISBA has issued the following statement in response from our Director-General, Phil Smith:
“Advertisers agree that Britain has an obesity problem and that action must be taken. But in seeking to regulate rather than innovate, government has tied itself in knots.
“There is no evidence that what Ministers are proposing will have any meaningful impact on children’s health. The possibilities of technology have been ignored, and industry’s attempts to deliver the desired outcome in a way which would also prevent economic harm to business have been waved away.
“We will look carefully at the detail, but at a moment which calls for economic recovery and serious, evidence-based policy to improve children’s health, it seems that government has plumped for headlines over meaningful reform.”
ISBA members who are concerned should contact James Barge, Director of Public Policy, at JamesB@isba.org.uk.