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A breather for worried parents: rules laid down for junk food child ads

Ofcom has made some rules to govern child ads for junk foods. This media regulator has ruled out a total TV advertising ban, but is launching// a 10-week consultation on guidelines restricting the adverts.

This follows government’s White Paper on public health which said children should not be encouraged to eat too many foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

Ofcom research indicates TV adverts have a "modest direct effect" on children's food choice.

The National Consumer Council has called on Ofcom to ban adverts for foods high in fat, salt and sugar from TV shows aimed at children under the age of 16.

"Anything less than full restrictions on all TV ads and promotions for high fat, salt and sugar foods before the 9pm watershed will be extremely disappointing," said the spokesperson.

According to food and farming alliance Sustain spokesman Richard Watts: "Unless kids are protected from junk food adverts during programmes like X Factor, the Bill or I'm a Celebrity... new rules will be meaningless."

Food and Drink Federation director general Melanie Leech said, "As set out in our food and health manifesto, we are committed to working with Ofcom and government, and we will study the detail of the consultation and respond in due course.”

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