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IPA welcomes CAP consultation into HFSS advertising rules

The IPA has welcomed CAP’s announcement this week to launch a public consultation on the introduction of new rules governing the advertising, to children, of food and soft drinks high in fat, salt or sugar.

01/10/2015

Says IPA President Tom Knox: "Given the IPA's stated agenda that advertising should be a force for good and its alignment with the Advertising Association's Responsibility Agenda, I welcome CAP's announcement which shows the industry takes its self-regulatory responsibilities very seriously on this important issue."

Says Richard Lindsay, IPA Director of Legal & Public Affairs “CAP’s decision to consult on the rules around advertising of food and drinks to children is timely considering technological advances and changes in children’s viewing habits. The outcome of the consultation must, of course, be based on evidence and proportionate, but the issue is obviously important and CAP’s decision to consult shows that the advertising self-regulatory system is in good order.”

View the full CAP statement below.

CAP statement on advertising of food and soft drinks to children

Today, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the code-setting body non-broadcast advertising in the UK, announces it will launch a public consultation on the introduction of new rules governing the advertising, to children, of food and soft drinks high in fat, salt or sugar.

The current rules already require that food and soft drink ads must not condone poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle in children.  Promotions, celebrities and licensed characters are banned in food and soft drink ads directed at younger children, and ads must not encourage ‘pester power’.  The rules are administered by the Advertising Standards Authority and apply across all non-broadcast channels including online, outdoor, print media, cinema and direct marketing.

Through public consultation and against a background of concern about children’s diets, CAP will ask a broad range of stakeholders whether a change of approach is now needed: an approach that would introduce for the first time in the non-broadcast code, rules covering the targeting of advertising, to children, of food and soft drinks high in fat, salt or sugar. 

CAP’s decision to carry out a public consultation responds, in part, to changes in children’s media habits and evolving advertising techniques.  It also reflects a growing consensus, shared by public health and industry bodies, about the role of advertising self-regulation in helping to bring about a change in the nature and balance of food advertising targeted at children.    

CAP will now begin a programme of pre-consultation with key consumer, campaigning, public health and industry organisations to further inform its thinking before launching a public consultation in early 2016. 

IPA members with an enquiry about the consultation can speak to our Legal team, legal@ipa.co.uk. All other enquiries are being dealt with by CAP.

Last updated 01/10/2015


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