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Crackdown on junk food ads

17th November 2006

29092006_doughnut1.jpgRegulators are calling for a ban on junk food advertising to all under-16s on health grounds.

Ofcom wants to see the ban enforced during any programme aimed at the under-16s based on their high levels of fat, salt and sugar. The ban will come into force by January.

A Food Standards Agency ratings system will be used to assess which foods are too high in fat, sugar and salt to be advertised to children.

The guidance also includes a total ban on commercials during children's programmes and on children's channels, as well as adult programmes watched by a large number of children. The use of celebrities and characters, such as cartoon heroes, and free gifts will also be banned.

While the food industry has branded the restrictions too harsh, health bodies want to see more stringent controls, including a 9pm watershed. But the guidance goes further than many expected, which was to ban the ads to under-nines.

The ban is set to cost broadcasters around £39m in lost advertising.


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