Ad land on guard as Govt plots pre-9pm blanket ban

Gordon%20BrownThe advertising industry is on its guard against a Government plot to announce a statutory 9pm-watershed, blanket ban on all food and alcohol advertising later this year.

The Advertising Association (AA) says that the omission of any mention of public health issues in relation to communications and advertising in Gordon Brown’s first Queen’s Speech as Prime Minister on Tuesday has “raised suspicions”.

It is understood that the Government is getting ready to announce the restrictions in an attempt to meet its public health goals on issues such as obesity, smoking and alcohol misuse. Insiders claim that the Department of Health, led by Alan Johnson, is set to announce its proposals to ban all food advertising and alcohol advertising pre-9pm as early as December.

AA chief executive Peta Buscombe says: “We cannot sit back and do nothing. Just because the Queen’s Speech did not touch on the issue of advertising and marketing, or how best to tackle the issue of obesity or alcohol abuse, does not mean the Government is not thinking about it. I am not confident that there will be no further restrictions. We are planning to be proactive, this time, to try and encourage the Government to recognise that the industry can be part of the solution.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Dawn Primarolo, minister of state for public health, has pulled out of the Food Advertising Unit conference on November 15. The Department of Health has no representation at the conference, which is set to debate on the issue of protecting commercial freedoms when marketing food, while ensuring social responsibility.

It is understood that the department has been putting pressure on the ad industry to delay the conference until early next year, after the announcement of the draft bill.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here