Kids see less “junk food” ads, says Ofcom

TV advertising for “junk food” has fallen by an estimated 34%, according to media watchdog, Ofcom. It says its phased restrictions on food ads during children’s programming has seen the amount of ads for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) seen by children fall by an estimated 34%.

It adds that as a result of the fall, terrestrial TV channels saw a 6% decline in food and drink advertising revenue.

The review, which monitored food and drink TV ads between July 2007 and June 2008, found also found that more ad spend is now targeted at the evening schedule, after 6pm. Although it also found that HFSS ads broadcast between 6pm and 9pm were found to have fallen by an estimated 29%.

Ofcom says that further reductions are likely with the implementation of the final phase of restrictions on January 1 2009, when all remaining HFSS advertising on children’s channels will be removed.

The watchdog intends to carry out a review of the full effect of advertising restrictions in early 2010, using full-year data from both 2008 and 2009.


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