CAP announces consultation into food and soft drinks ads rules

Changes are being considered by the Committee of Advertising Practice on rules governing how food and soft drinks are advertised to children.

Children's food advertising: CAP to launch a public consultation
Children's food advertising: CAP to launch a public consultation

CAP is to launch a public consultation in 2016 on the rules governing the non-broadcast advertising to children of food and soft drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar.

The current rules require that food and soft drink ads must not condone poor nutritional habits or unhealthy lifestyles in children. 

Promotions, celebrities and licensed characters are banned from food and soft drink ads directed at younger children and these ads must not encourage "pester power", the current rules state.

The consultation will ask a whether a change of approach is now needed. It suggests the introduction, for the first time, of a non-broadcast code with rules dedicated to the targeting of advertising of these food and drink products to children. 

CAP, in its announcement, reported "Our decision to carry out a public consultation responds, in part, to changes in children’s media habits and evolving advertising techniques. 

"It also reflects a growing consensus, shared by public health and industry bodies, about the role of advertising self-regulation in helping to bring about a change in the nature and balance of food advertising targeted at children."

A period of pre-consultation will begin with key consumer, campaigning, public health and industry organisations.