The UK government has recently announced plans over a proposed junk food advertisement ban. This is to see junk food promotions in supermarkets and adverts on television banned before 9pm. This is in a bid to tackle the issue of obesity.
Following the news of the governments objectives, advertisers are asking that they reconsider their plans as it could damage the coronavirus recovery and jobs.
Although decisions have not been made regarding how far measures will go, it is understood that an announcement will be made in the near future. Advertisers believe that the measures being considered have not necessarily been proved to cut down the rates of obesity.
The Advertising Association’s CEO Stephen Woodford believes that if these measures are introduced, it would cause “strain” to the economic structure which has already felt the effect of the pandemic.
He adds: “These measures, if introduced, would have significant economic impact at a time when the economy is already under strain due to Covid-19, with thousands of jobs under threat across the UK’s media, advertising, food and retail sectors. The government must reconsider any proposals which could damage the recovery, jobs, and people’s livelihoods, just at the very moment everyone is working so hard to recover.”
ISBA director general Phil Smith is also calling on the government to reconsider, saying it is “deeply concerned” by the reports.
“Brands have partnered effectively with government over the lockdown period to support, develop and amplify public health campaigns as well as safeguard and support employees. Just as business begins to chart a course back from the severe impacts of Covid-19, such an ill-thought out policy cuts across Treasury efforts to support the sector and risks jobs and livelihoods,” he says.
The UK has tried various methods to tackle obesity, particularly in young people, with healthy school melas, encouraging outdoor activities and restricting advertisements at cinemas and online to ensure they do not target children.
It looks like the battle is far from over.