ASA says junk food ads comply with code

The Advertising Standards Authority says that almost all TV and outdoor “junk food” ads comply with the ad restrictions imposed on the industry. It says 99% of ads comply with the advertising code in its latest compliance report.

However, digital ads for junk food – products high in fat, salt or sugar – need more scrutiny.

The ASA surveyed 927 ads across television, cinema, outdoor and online media in July and found that only ten ads breached the codes that govern marketing to children. Eight breaches of the ten ads were from the non-alcoholic drinks sector.

According to the advertising rules, the food and drink ads must not promote unhealthy diet practices and poor nutritional habits among children.

The 927 ads surveyed comprised about 209 TV ads, 58 radio ads, 378 press ads, 153 online ads, 88 posters, 35 circulars and six direct mailing ads. Of the 660 non-broadcast ads, four online ads breached the code, the report says.

The ASA says that although only 3% online ads breached the code, it needed further scrutiny.

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