IPA says pre-watershed ban “unnecessary”

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has slammed calls for a pre-9pm watershed ban on junk food advertising as “misguided” and “unnecessary”.

IPA legal director Marina Palomba spoke out days after Labour backbencher Baroness Thornton tabled a private member’s bill that would stop pre-watershed advertising for brands associated with high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) foods. The bill is supported by health campaigning bodies such as Sustain and the British Medical Association.

Palomba said: “Such a bill is unnecessary given the stringent new rules restricting the advertising of HFSS foods in or around children’s programming. This call is totally disproportionate and contrary to all the evidence that such a ban would benefit children and consumers.”

She added: “We are disappointed that the supporters of the bill, such as Sustain, are refusing to act within the spirit of co-operation that Ofcom and the Government is seeking. The new restrictions come into full force in July this year so introducing the bill at this juncture would be blatantly unnecessary.”

Ofcom introduced restrictions in November banning junk food advertising around children’s programmes but stopped short of a complete 9pm ban.

See this week’s Noises Off for more.

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