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New Advertising Ban

New Advertising Ban

As part of its effort to combat obesity and encourage healthy eating, Britain will prohibit advertisements for unhealthy foods from airing on television during the day and on the internet. The new guidelines, which will take effect at the end of next year, are intended to reverse the existing trend of ‘one out of every three children leaving primary school overweight or obese’, but they have sparked outrage among some media organisations. 

Advertisements promoting high-fat, high-salt, and high-sugar meals will be banned on UK television and on-demand programmes before 9 p.m. under the plan. They'll also be barred from online paid slots, though they'll still be able to appear on their producer's website and social media accounts. 

The limits would apply to all enterprises that create or sell the products with 250 or more employees, according to the government, helping to protect smaller businesses who can only afford to advertise online. According to government data, nearly half of all TV food advertisements shown in a month in 2019 were for unhealthy foods. A sugar tax enacted in 2018 caused several beverage makers to reduce sugar content. 

The News and Media Association expressed its disappointment with the judgement, claiming that there was no evidence of a link between advertisement exposure and childhood obesity. Our Spark Leaders had the following to say:

 “It's a great step in the right direction! In a way, I do think all advertising of these sorts of foods and drinks need to be banned. Yes, it's a great move forward for children, but the adult obesity levels are also very high. If these unhealthy foods or drinks come on on the TV, it is still being targeted at adults.We know there is a link between parent and child weight and the impact role models have on behaviour. So if a child see’s their parents unhealthy food habits, it is likely they will behave in a similar manner'

With additional comments saying:

“If you eat unhealthy snacks, banning advertisements won’t make a significant impact, people will continue to see these foods advertised out and about in their everyday lives.” 

Another said: 

“Almost every child spends more time on the internet/YouTube/tiktok where it's free reign for ads and they play games where junk food keeps their characters alive. Banning TV ads is just one way to get them to push their ads by other means.”


For more information on the ban, take a look here

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