New food rules HFSS: Junk food advertising will soon be hit by a ban across all media aimed at children both on and offline. Last week the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) set out their ‘tough’ new rules relating to the advertising of HFFS or high fat, salt or sugar food and drink products to children. Find out what you need to know to avoid getting your brand into trouble.
Why all the fuss?
Last October, as part of David Cameron’s strategy to tackle the problem of childhood obesity the government compiled a report which found that obesity costs the NHS over £5bn a year. Amongst calls for a ‘sugar tax’ and a crackdown on two-for-one supermarket deals one of the recommendations of the report was to:
“Significantly reduce opportunities to market and advertise high-sugar food and drink products to children and adults across all media including digital platforms and through sponsorship.”
This led to a consultation in May by CAP to examine whether HFSS advertising should be banned in media that appeals to children. CAP Chairman, James Best, stated that “Too many children in the UK are growing up overweight or even obese, potentially damaging their health in later life and imposing a high cost on society. Advertising is just one small factor in a very complex equation but we believe we can play a positive part in addressing an urgent societal challenge.”
The outcome of the consultation was CAP’s new rules and changes to existing guidance.
So, what is now banned?
What, where and when?
Critics have suggested that the rules don’t go far enough and have called for restrictions to be extended to programmes that are popular with younger audiences such as Britain’s Got Talent and X-Factor that fall outside of the new children’s media restrictions. Concerns are that the 25% audience rule would not be sufficient to avoid dangerous exposure.
Regardless of this, the fact remains that rules relating to children and the media will become increasingly restrictive as brands and advertisers spend more and more time and money targeting this lucrative market. To prevent your future promotions from breaking the rules or for advice on shaping and implementing promotions anywhere in the world contact Gemma Cutting on +44 (0) 203 325 6000 or email email@example.com.