NEWS: NFA renews pressure on food ads

Advertisers with products aimed at children are bracing themselves against the threat of new curbs in Britain and across Europe.

Advertisers with products aimed at children are bracing themselves

against the threat of new curbs in Britain and across Europe.



In the UK, lobbyists are stepping up pressure on the Independent

Television Commission to ban the transmission of ads for fatty and

sugary foods when large numbers of children are likely to be watching.



Separately, European ad industry executives are alarmed that the Greek

Government’s ban on toy advertising could spread throughout the EU and

lead to a Europe-wide ban on all advertising directed at children.



Moves towards further restrictions in Britain are being orchestrated by

the National Food Alliance, which claims that children are being

subjected to three or four times as many ads for fatty, sugary and salty

foods per hour than adults viewing in late evening.



In a new report, entitled Easy to Swallow, Hard to Stomach, the NFA

claims that seven out of ten commercials shown during children’s

programmes are for food, compared with only two out of ten during adult

programming.



The NFA also claims that of the 549 food ads it monitored, only two were

for fruit or vegetables. ‘It is clear that the ITC is either unable or

unwilling to address this imbalance,’ the report says.



Sue Dibb, the NFA’s food advertising project officer, said: ‘The foods

we should eat least are the most highly advertised, while the foods we

should eat most are the least advertised.’



The imbalance not only boosted children’s consumption of unhealthy foods

but undermined parents’ efforts to encourage healthier eating, she

added.



The NFA wants the Government to pressure the ITC into banning ads for

fatty and sugary foods when the audience is mostly children. But the

NFA’s call has been challenged by the Advertising Association, which

says children are increasingly ad literate.



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