March 29, 2006

BROADCASTING / ADVERTISEMENT: Ofcom proposes limits on TV food ads to kids (UK)

Ofcom proposes limits on TV food ads to kids
Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:31 PM GMT

By Adam Pasick

LONDON (Reuters) - Food and drink ads aimed at children could be banned from television under one of the proposals laid out by media regulator Ofcom on Tuesday.

Ofcom has drawn up three potential remedies to address childhood obesity, which has increased from 9.6 percent of children aged 2 to 10 in 1995 to 15.5 percent in 2002, according to the Health Survey for England.

One proposal would ban food and drinks ads during TV programmes that are made specifically for children, or that appeal to children of nine years old and under, covering a broad range of programming such as "The Simpsons".

An alternate proposal would use the same criteria but would apply only to junk food high in fat, salt or sugar.

A third option, which would have the biggest financial impact on mainstream broadcasters, would place volume limits on the number of food and drink ads shown per hour at any time when children are likely to be watching.

"With childhood obesity, the case for targeted action has been made; but which action -- and how this should be implemented -- is the focus of this final stage of consultation," Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter said in a statement.




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