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UK bans junk food advertising online and on TV before 9 p.m. from 2023 | advertising


The government stands ready to announce a ban on junk food advertising on the internet and on TV before 9 p.m. from 2023 as Boris Johnson seeks to deliver on his promise to tackle the UK’s growing obesity crisis.

The new measures, which are among the toughest marketing restrictions in the world, will have a major impact on the more than £ 600million annually spent on food advertising on the internet and on television.

The ban on advertising TV products that are considered high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) at 9 p.m. before the turnaround could put TV networks like ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky in excess of £ 200 million in sales a year costs.

The ban on online advertising would affect all paid forms of digital marketing, from ads on Facebook to paid search results on Google, SMS advertising to paid activities on websites like Instagram and Twitter. It is estimated that the UK spends more than £ 400 million annually on online grocery advertising.

The strict rules, expected to be announced as early as Thursday, follow Johnson’s change of mind about personal health decisions after being hospitalized with coronavirus last year. The prime minister should blame his own health problems for his contribution to his illness. Overweight people have a higher risk of developing Covid or dying.

Research has found that one in three children who drop out of elementary school is overweight or obese, as are nearly two-thirds of adults in England. Last year, the government consultation on proposals to implement a ban estimated that children under the age of 16 were exposed to 15 billion junk food advertisements online in 2019, compared to 700 million two years earlier.

However, the new restrictions include a significant number of “carve-outs” and exemptions that mean they fall short of the overall ban proposed last year, which the advertising and broadcasting industry described as too “indiscriminate and draconian”.

For example, pure brand advertising will continue to be allowed on the Internet and on television. This means that a company like McDonald’s, which is often associated with poor eating habits, can advertise as long as HFSS products don’t appear. Brands are still allowed to promote their products on their own websites and social media accounts.

The government is also said to be exempting a number of products from inclusion in the ban after the definition of junk food products proposed last year resulted in blocking the advertising of products like avocados, marmite and cream.

This includes products that are not considered to be traditional “junk food”, such as honey and jam, but also sugar-free drinks and McDonald’s nuggets that are nutritionally not considered HFSS products.

Small and medium-sized businesses – those with fewer than 250 employees – are still allowed to advertise junk food products.

In addition, the business-to-business market – companies that are not geared towards consumers but are part of the food industry supply chain – are allowed to continue promoting HFSS items.

Junk food advertising through audio media such as podcasts and radio will continue to be allowed, and there will be no new restrictions on the out-of-home area, which includes billboards, billboards, on buses and in places such as train stations and airports.

The list of products and the ban itself are reviewed every few years.


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