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Thread: Junk food ad crackdown announced

  1. #1
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Junk food ad crackdown announced

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6154600.stm

    Junk food ad crackdown announced

    The restrictions focus on foods high in salt, fat and sugar

    Junk food ads during TV programmes targeted at under-16s will be banned, under rules put forward by regulators.

    Ofcom says these foods include any that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

    There will be a total ban on ads during children's programmes and on children's channels, as well as adult programmes watched by a large number of children.

    Health bodies said Ofcom should have banned junk food ads before the 9pm watershed, but the food industry said the restrictions were "over the top".

    Ofcom's measures will come into effect before the end of January 2007.

    They are set to cost broadcasters an estimated 39 million in lost advertising revenue, Ofcom said.

    The measures will apply to:

    All pre-school children's programmes,
    All programmes on mainstream channels aimed at children
    All cable and satellite children's channels
    Programmes aimed at young people, such as music shows
    General entertainment programmes which would appeal to a "higher than average" number of under 16s.

    Protection

    The regulator has gone further than expected.

    It had been considering a ban on junk food advertising during programmes aimed at under-nines. The extension to all shows aimed at under-16s will be subject to a brief consultation.

    There will also be new rules governing advertising to primary school age children.

    The use of celebrities and characters, such as cartoon heroes, free gifts and health or nutrition claims would be banned.

    Ofcom suggests the package would mean that, in households where children's viewing includes a large number of programmes targeted at adults as well as those for children and young people, under-16s would see 41% fewer junk food ads.

    A Food Standards Agency ratings system will be used to assess which foods are too high in fat, sugar and salt to be advertised to children.

    Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: "Based on the evidence and analysis we believe the case for intervention is clear.

    "We will introduce significant but proportionate measures to protect children under 16."

    He added: "We will look to advertisers and broadcasters to follow both the spirit as well as the letter of the rules we are putting in place."

    'Over the top'

    But health campaigners criticised Ofcom's proposals.

    Dr Vivienne Nathanson, Head of Science and Ethics at the British Medical Association, said: "Ofcom's ban does not go far enough. Some of the most popular programmes amongst the under-16s are soaps which will not be covered by this ban.

    "We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic and must use all the weapons in our armoury to prevent the next generation of British children being the most obese and unhealthy in history.

    "Ofcom clearly believes that TV advertising has an effect on children's eating habits, yet it does not have the courage to recommend a more comprehensive ban."

    Paul Lincoln, chief executive of the National Heart Forum, said: "This represents a missed opportunity by Ofcom to adopt a 9pm watershed and significantly reshape our food culture."

    However Melanie Leech, director of the Food and Drink Federation said Ofcom's regulations were "over the top".

    She added: "We are shocked that after a lengthy consultation Ofcom has moved the goalposts.

    "This issue has always been about advertising to young children and industry responded on that basis with a package of strong measures designed to meet the government's objective.

    "The debate around this important issue has been based on high emotions and subjective opinions rather than a sensible dialogue about how we can tackle childhood obesity. Advertising is only a very small part of this debate."

    A spokesman for the Treasury said: "The Chancellor welcomes Ofcom's report and their proposals to tighten the restrictions on the advertising of unhealthy foods during programmes that children watch."

    Gordon Brown, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell are to host a seminar at 11 Downing Street to hear the views of parents and consumer groups and to consider what more could be done to improve child health.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  2. #2
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Junk food ad crackdown announced

    Strange. It's not like children buy their own food. They should be educating parents!
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
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    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Junk food ad crackdown announced

    But children do heavily influence what their parents buy and what you learn as a child carries on into your adulthood, when children grow into adults they are (generally speaking) far less open to change and will stick with what they're used to.

    McDonalds for example has targeted children for years, even getting parents to let their kids have birthday parties there, when those kids grow up the majority of them will probably continue to eat their 'food'.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

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    Default Re: Junk food ad crackdown announced

    Quote Risker View Post
    But children do heavily influence what their parents buy
    Oh, I know and that's the problem! Still, less meat ads can only be a good thing!
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

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    focus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Junk food ad crackdown announced

    There will be a total ban on ads during children's programmes and on children's channels, as well as adult programmes watched by a large number of children
    That's brilliant! Over here in the US they allow the fast food chains to target children even on the public broadcasting channel which shows only kids programming during the day. I pre-record the kids shows for my niece so I can omit the commercials, what a hassle and what a shame on the US to allow it. The UK is clearly ahead of the US in many facets, like GMO foods and the Bovine growth harmone.
    The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

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