Trade bodies fight to halt pre-watershed snack food ad ban

Advertising trade bodies have hit out at the campaign to ban pre-9pm watershed advertising for snack foods, after a private member’s bill was tabled in Parliament this week by Labour backbencher Baroness Thornton.

The bill would stop pre-watershed advertising for brands that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

A spokesman for the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers condemns the campaign as misguided and says that it’s tapping into the wrong issues.

"By restricting advertising to children it is not going to make them fitter and thinner," he adds.

ISBA argues that a better solution would be the promotion of an integrated campaign, involving "a balance between parents and society educating children and some help from advertisers."

The Advertising Association, meanwhile, is also opposed to a pre-9pm watershed ban, which it says is "not evidence-based, targeted, or proportionate".

It argues that brands need the opportunity to promote new, reformulated healthy products.

Restrictions by regulator Ofcom, announced in November last year, introduced a ban on junk-food advertising around children’s advertising. Yet they stopped short of a complete pre-9pm ban.

It is in consultation on restrictions on under-16s and is expected to announce its findings later this month.

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