Its party manifesto, which was released today (15 April), also features a promise to clamp down on e-cigarette advertising and to further encourage the traffic light system on food packaging to make sugar and fat content more obvious to consumers.
The several advertising pledges could very well be impactful to marketers, with Britain’s current third biggest party (based on MP numbers) likely to have the chance to form another coalition government post-7 May.
If it were to with Labour, the likelihood of a government-backed vote for a pre-watershed ban on junk food ads would be high, with shadow health minister Andy Burnham previously expressing his support of the idea.
“We will restrict the marketing of junk food to children, including restricting TV advertising before the 9pm watershed, and maintain the effective ‘Five a Day’ campaign,” reads the Lib Dem manifesto.
“We will also carefully monitor the growing evidence base around electronic cigarettes, which appear to be a route by which many people are quitting tobacco, and ensure restrictions on marketing and use are proportionate and evidence-based. For example, we support restrictions on advertising which risks promoting tobacco or targets under 18s, such as those introduced in 2014, but would rule out a statutory ban on ‘vaping’ in public places.”
The Liberal Democrats have also pledged to complete the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products, while committing to a tax levy on tobacco firms so they ‘fairly contribute to the costs of health care and smoking cessation services.’
And the party will also push for the introduction of minimum unit pricing on alcohol in order to curb binge drinking and the cheap booze on sale at Britain’s supermarkets.
So far, each of the main three political party manifestos have focused on targeting junk food marketing.
Yesterday’s Conservative manifesto pledged to introduce ‘clearer food information’ in a bid to ease the financial strain of obesity on the NHS.
On Monday, Labour, meanwhile, committed to reducing the levels of sugar, salt and fat in foods that are ‘marketed substantially to children’ if it is to be voted to form the UK’s next government.