McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food chains face devastating curbs on their point-of-sale marketing from a new Bill presented to Parliament this week.
A Private Member’s Bill from Nigel Griffiths MP, which had its first reading on December 4, threatens to outlaw junk-food marketing to children through product packaging, websites and point of sale material.
It also proposes an all-out ban on TV ads promoting salty, fatty and sugary foods before the 9pm watershed.
Most retailers and snack brands have already moved away from targeting unhealthy foods at children, and would be unaffected by the restrictions on websites and point-of-sale material.
But the proposals could seriously damage marketing by fast-food chains. Sales promotion specialist Jamie Matthews, managing director of Initials Marketing, says: “One of the biggest areas of marketing for fast-food retailers is their point-of-sale material.
“Restricting the in-store environment is going to be the last nail in the coffin for marketing for a lot of the fast-food brands. They will effectively have to become adult brands.”
Meanwhile, Richard Watts, co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, which is backing Griffiths’ Bill, says the legislation would aim to curtail all marketing of unhealthy products to children within restaurants. He says: “It would create difficulties for McDonald’s, but we think that it is a price they should pay on behalf of improving children’s health.”