Insights Incorporated Society of British Advertisers responds to Government’s announcement to ban HFSS ads on TV before 9pm watershed

ISBA says that together with other industry bodies, it put forward a “well thought-out alternative” to the Government’s proposal, which would have delivered the desired outcome of tackling child obesity, while using the benefits of targeting technology and stopping avoidable economic harm.

ISBA recognises that there have been some concessions on the original proposal, including that the online ban will only apply to paid-for ads, but says that the overall impact on the advertising and food & soft drink industries will be detrimental, with no evidence that it will improve the obesity crisis. ISBA’s Director-General Phil Smith said: “Advertisers agree that Britain has an obesity problem and that action must be taken. But in seeking to regulate rather than innovate, government has tied itself in knots.

“There is no evidence that what Ministers are proposing will have any meaningful impact on children’s health. The possibilities of technology have been ignored, and industry’s attempts to deliver the desired outcome in a way which would also prevent economic harm to business have been waved away.

“We will look carefully at the detail, but at a moment which calls for economic recovery and serious, evidence-based policy to improve children’s health, it seems that government has plumped for headlines over meaningful reform.” To read ISBA’s press release in full, click here.