JUNK FOOD ADVERTISING BAN: CAP bans unhealthy food and drink adverts for children on non-broadcast media.
The junk food advertising ban targets specific food and drinks which are high in sugar, salt, or fat.
This new move follows an in-depth public consultation by the advertising body. Their aim was to find a way of limiting advertising of ‘junk food’ to vulnerable children.
Apart from TV or radio spots, they set the codes of practice for all media advertising in the United Kingdom.
New junk food advertising restrictions will apply across all non-broadcast media formats. That includes food and drink adverts in cinemas and on print.
But, perhaps the most crucial part of the ban now applies to advertising online and in social media. It is significant that 25% of the audience in such mass media platforms are under 16 years old.
Banning Ads on Online Platforms
What does that mean for junk food adverts appearing around TV-like content online? Those kind of ads will get banned if they show sugary or salty food and drink products.
The junk food advertising ban extends to online platforms of branded games and YouTube.
Unhealthy food or drink adverts directed at children (or likely to appeal to) will get banned by the new rulings.
The CAP ban on unhealthy food and drinks went even further with products falling short of government benchmarks. They cannot use licensed characters or celebrities to promote unhealthy food and drinks to children.
The Committee of Advertising Products said advertisers have a responsible role in society.
They may now use their advertising techniques to promote ‘better and healthier options’.
Reasons Behind Junk Food Advertising Ban
The CAP ban on unhealthy food and drinks takes full effect from the 1st of July 2017. The exclusion on certain junk ads aims to protect the health and wellbeing of children. There is no doubt that most kids spend too much time online.
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. Their research shows young people aged 5 to 15 are spending close to 15 hours each week online. Somewhat alarmingly it overtakes the time spent by kids watching a TV set for the first time.
The chairman of CAP clarified some reasons for the junk food and drink advertising ban.
“Childhood obesity is a serious and complex issue. It is one that we play our part in tackling. These restrictions will reduce the number of ads for high, fat, salt or sugar products seen by children.
Tough new rules are a clear demonstration that the ad industry is ready to act on its responsibilities. It must put the protection of children at the heart of its work by tackling childhood obesity.”
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