UK: Ofcom pushes ahead with junk food ad ban
UK communications regulator Ofcom is pushing ahead with its plan to ban junk food ads during TV shows watched by under 16-year-olds.
The announcement today (22 February) follows a period of consultation on Ofcom's proposals for restricting food and drink ads, which were published in November last year.
The restrictions, which will be phased in, focus on products that are high in salt, fat and sugar and will curb the TV advertising of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) in the UK.
Ofcom said the ban will cover any TV shows that under 16s may find appealing. The regulations fall short of demands from health campaigners, who wanted a blanket ban on junk food ads before 9pm.
The British Soft Drinks Association said it was not surprised by the announcement but said its members would accept the regulations. "Psychologists tell us that at the age of eight, children have a good understanding of what is and what isn't advertising," a spokesman for the association told just-drinks. "We didn't think that teenagers need protecting from advertising. However, if these are the rules to be established, we will follow them."
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