The Food Commission has said it would like to see a system introduced that linked advertising restrictions on drinks ads to film ratings.

Following a survey by the Commission, researchers found that children's films carry adverts for foods and drinks that would not be permitted during many children's television programmes.

It also found that ads for products such as Stella Artois, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, J20 and Absolut Vodka, are being shown alongside children's films like My Sister's Keeper.

Food Commission director Jessica Mitchell said today (12 October): "We think it would be simple to introduce a system that linked advertising restrictions to film ratings."

She added: "It would be straightforward to apply the rating system to adverts so that any film classified as suitable for children (U, PG, 12, 12A, 15) would not be allowed to carry promotions for alcohol or unhealthy foods/drinks (as determined by the nutrient profiling model used by Ofcom to regulate food advertising during children's TV programming). The film ratings are there to guide parents but currently they cannot relax during the ad breaks."

David Poley, chief executive of The Portman Group however, believes that the fact that a film has a rating that allows it to be seen by children does not mean that it is necessarily aimed at children.

"The Advertising Standards Authority's rules prevent ads from having strong appeal to under-18s or from appearing in media, including cinema, where more than 25% of the audience is under-18. "We believe this system of audience profiling provides an appropriate balance between protection of children and advertiser freedom," he said.

Researchers also found ads for products such as Kellogg's Coco Pops, Cadbury Clusters and Oreo biscuits being shown alongside children's films like Ice Age 3 and Night at the Museum 2.

The Portman Group last month launched a new campaign to promote its responsible advertising code.

The code focuses on the rule that actors have to be, and look, 25 years of age to be shown drinking as part of any alcohol marketing campaign in the UK.