Children are still exposed to the same level of junk food advertising despite tighter regulations, research suggests.
Eh? Are companies breaching the regulations, then?
Newcastle University academics said 6.1% of adverts seen by children were about junk food before the ban – the figure was 7% after the ban.
It’s gone up! Albeit in a statistically insignificant rise. So, they must be, surely?
Well, no. Of course they aren’t.
The team noted that although most of the adverts stuck to the rules, children were still being exposed to junk food ads during other programming not particularly aimed at them.
And so the inevitable cry goes up ‘Ban it ALL! For the CHIIILDREEEENNNN!’.
Dr Jean Adams, lecturer in public health at Newcastle University, said: “While adverts stay within the letter of the law, I think we can say we’re still not getting the spirit of the law.
“These regulations were brought in to help young people make better lifestyle choices and encourage a healthier diet.
“However, what they are seeing is exactly the same amount of advertising for food which is high in salt or high in sugar and fat as before the regulations came in.”
Yes, but crucially, not in the areas you wanted banned because you claimed it would make a difference.
And the advertising standards people and the politicians were either too dim to see the yawning chasm opening up under their feet, or (as Bucko points out) quite happy to go along with your demands even though they could see it, because, at heart, they are all advocates of state control and no personal responsibility…
“We know advertising works – otherwise food companies wouldn’t use it – so we have a duty to further tighten up the restrictions particularly if we’re going to help our young people grow up to make good choices about the food they eat.”
Well, of course you have a duty! People like you always think so. And so do all the other fakecharities.
Look! Here they all come, right on cue:
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said the research highlighted a “loophole” in the regulations.
BHF policy manager Mubeen Bhutta said: “To protect children all junk food adverts should be screened after the 9pm watershed and we want to see consistent advertising regulations across all forms of media, including online, to protect our children.
“It’s time for the government to put the health of our children above the health of the advertising industry.”
And when all that fails to do the trick, there’s only one thing left to do. Ban the adverts. And then ban the food.
Hey, aren’t we missing someo…
Ah. There they are:
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said the research demonstrated that the current rules did not go far enough.
Dr Kate Allen, director of science and communications at WCRF, said: “Children watch programmes other than kids’ TV shows and regulation should be extended to any programme where children make up a significant share of the audience.
“We would also like regulators to tackle the growth of online advertising and marketing aimed at children as well as areas like sports sponsorship.”
And they probably will. No, scratch that. They certainly will. After the Olympic Games, at least. Wouldn’t want to lose out on all that McDonald’s sponsorship money…
God forbid they should tell you to go suck a lemon, you had your shot and it didn’t work.