Restrictions on advertising soft drinks to children in the UK are stretching to cover non-broadcast media.

The country's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has today (11 April) introduced new rules to "help protect children's health, recognise and respond to public concern about rising levels of childhood obesity".

The new rules state that advertisements for food or soft drink products should not:

  • Condone or encourage poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle in children
  • Encourage excessive consumption of food or drink products
  • Use promotional offers in an irresponsible way
  • Use 'high pressure' or 'hard sell' techniques
  • Use licensed characters or celebrities popular with children if targeted directly at pre-school or primary school children
  • Give a misleading impression of the nutritional health benefits of the product.

"These comprehensive new rules are designed to help protect children's health while still allowing advertisers an appropriate degree of freedom to promote their products," said Andrew Brown, the CAP's chairman. "Childhood obesity and the future of children's health are of prime concern to all and these measures represent a strong commitment by advertisers to promote all food and drink products responsibly."

The rules will come into force on 1 July, to coincide with the introduction of similar TV content rules in the UK.