IPA rejects tougher rules on HFSS advertising

Further restrictions covering TV and online would be ineffective and disproportionate, trade body argues.

HFSS advertising: watershed might cut just two calories from children's daily intake
HFSS advertising: watershed might cut just two calories from children's daily intake

Current rules on advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar are "effective and flexible" and further intervention is unnecessary to protect children, the IPA has said in response to the government consultation, which could lead to a pre-watershed ban on HFSS TV ads.

In its submission, the IPA argued that the proposed restrictions would only cut children’s calorie intake by approximately two calories per day. It also pointed out that the government’s own impact assessment shows that children’s exposure to HFSS ads on TV decreased by 70% between 2005 and 2017, and is expected to fall a further 30% over the next five years.

Richard Lindsay, director of legal and public affairs at the IPA, said: "We support the government’s aim of tackling the problem of childhood obesity and wish to help government achieve that aim.

"However, we do not believe that further advertising restrictions, over and above those already in place via the self-regulatory system, would be proportionate or have any effect. They will, however, damage advertising – a hugely successful UK industry that ought to be championed by government."

The IPA’s submission follows similar responses to the plans from Enders Analysis and ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall.

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