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Junk food advert ban is symbolic ‘damaging’ broadcasters and advertisers

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The report argued the existing ban has done little to combat obesity levels in the UK over the last decade, and pointed to a reduction in TV viewing among children amid the rise of YouTube and on-demand services.

Enders said an additional ban would merely prompt advertisers to move to other forms of media, including online, out-of-home, radio and direct mail.

This would spark the risk of advertisers increasing their spend on promotions, while broadcasters would be hit by a decline in ad revenue, the report warned.

“We encourage the UK government to address the root of the problem of childhood obesity and pursue policies to educate parents for their own and their children’s benefit,” Enders stated.

“Limiting the visibility of HFSS foods on TV will disproportionately damage broadcasters and advertisers’ businesses without any prospect of success in abating obesity.”

It comes after industry body the Advertising Association launched a searing attack on the plans earlier this year, rejecting the link between TV ads and obesity levels and warning of the economic impact of an extended ban.

Separately, Transport for London (TfL) has been branded “absurd” over its recent ban on junk food adverts on London’s transport network.

Opponents of the ban have criticised TfL for removing adverts containing everyday items such as bacon, butter and jam, while allowing promotions for fast food chains.

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