Mark Sweney, Marketing 16 Nov 2004
LONDON - The government's plan to restrict TV advertising of 'junk' foods to children would wipe out £190m of expenditure by major brands trying to target adults during primetime.
The White Paper on public health, published today proposes an outright ban before the 9pm watershed as an ultimatum to force food and drink companies to implement voluntary restrictions.
Moves by brands such as McDonald's, Kraft and PepsiCo to reduce levels of fat, salt and sugar in products or offer healthier menu options have failed to appease critics in the government.
Advertisers have been told that any action to curb "junk" food ads must match the reality of children's viewing habits and extend beyond weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings to the period between 6pm and 9pm.
According to an Ofcom report released in June, 71% of children's viewing takes places outside the time allotted to kids' shows.
Food and drink firms' primetime adspend reached £190m in the 12 months to October 31, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The Advertising Association said the ban would be "a short-term, populist and disproportionate response".
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 10th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
Mobile: +49 176 23107083
Fax: +49 12126 23107083
Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/youthful-media