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The UK Government has called for responses on its consultation on introducing further advertising restrictions on TV and online for products high in fat, sugar and salt.
ISBA’s response from Director of Public Policy, James Barge is summarised in the following statement;
“The Government has failed to make its case for a watershed. The evidence presented in support of the policy demonstrates a significantly weaker case then the one dismissed by Ofcom in 2010, when they described a watershed as ‘disproportionate’ and ‘ineffective’. Government figures show at least a 70% drop in children’s weekly exposure to HFSS advertising since 2005 and a further 30% expected drop over the next five years.
The rationale for further intervention of this nature is fundamentally flawed. A watershed would mean adults seeing fewer adverts, an undermining of the reformulation agenda which brands are driving forwards and significant increases in costs to manufacturers. All to deliver – according to government– a 1.74 calorie per day reduction in children’s diets, set against the very real need to address the 150-500 calorie imbalance (per day) that Public Health England says is prevalent amongst overweight and obese children. Government needs to fundamentally reassess its approach, look to examples of meaningful and effective holistic intervention. Brands are playing and will continue to play their part in addressing this complex issue, but they expect government to follow the evidential standards it sets for others.”
You can read ISBA’s full response here.