Marketing industry prepares for online ad ban of junk food to kids

The marketing industry is readying itself for an expected ban on advertising sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks to children online through social media, computer games and cartoon characters.

The Sunday Times reports that “senior industry figures” expect the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to soon propose a ban on advertising sugary and fatty foods to children online.

CAP said in September that it was consulting on the introduction of new rules governing advertising to children, which would be enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

It comes as the sugar-debate heightened this year, with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver among those supporting The British Heart Foundation’s call on the government to ban junk food adverts across all channels before the 9pm watershed.

However, discussions around how brands market high-sugar and fat products online is ongoing.

The Food and Drink Federation is getting a head start on CAP rulings and is set to voluntarily ban advertising such products.

Beginning January 2016, it will prohibit the use of branded cartoon characters in child-friendly advertising or marketing via games, the internet and social media.

Meanwhile, brands have also begun to take action in anticipation of a ban with Orangina Schweppes confirming that it is reviewing its online content.

Earlier this year, supermarkets also seemed to pre-empt a major shift in how junk food products are advertised. In September, Tesco delisted children’s juice drinks that contained added-sugar, including Capri-Sun, Ribena and Robinson’s Fruit Shoot.

Shortly afterwards, Ribena changed tact in how it promoted its drinks, going after a new millennial audience with a refreshed marketing campaign.
Story first appeared on The Drum website –