EU watchdog presses for total junk food ad ban from new president

The European Consumers Association (BEUC) has renewed calls for a pledge to strengthen restrictions on advertising junk food to children throughout the EU, ahead of Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy becoming the EU President on 1 July.

Junk food
Junk food

The EU already has an EU Pledge, which was originally set up in 2007, and is backed by manufacturers including Kraft Foods and Danone. The pledge is committed to stopping any advertising on TV, in print and on the Internet that was targeted at children under the age of 12.

However, the BEUC wants the new EU president to go further to incorporate older children and all forms of marketing.

It has published a wishlist, calling for the new EU council to take more action including a watershed ban on HFSS food ads on TV, the extension of advertising restrictions for HFSS food ads to all forms of media, including sms, viral marketing. and mandatory colour-coded labelling on front of packs.

It is also pressing for back of packs to contain information on the “Big 8” mutrients and transfats, with a minimum font size requirement for the text. BEUC wants to establish “strict nutrient profiles” in order to limit the use of health and nutrition claims. It is pressing for misleading claims in advertising to be regulated across Europe.

BEUC also wants to see stricter rules on marketing and advertising for financial services, particularly for investment products, and a clear distinction between information and advertising for medicines.

Last month, The European Snacks Association (ESA) joined the EU Pledge.

Earlier today, a group of over 100 diabetes experts called on the Government to introduce a law banning all forms of “unhealthy food” adverts targeting children.

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