Advertisements for junk food that are aimed at children are to be banned from non-broadcast media, including online. The Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) announced the measures, which will affect advertisers in the UK, as the government tries to tackle childhood obesity.
The ban means that foods high in fat, salt and sugar cannot be advertised on social media, YouTube channels and gaming websites in ways that will specifically appeal to children.
The new rules come into effect on 1 July, and they mean that celebrity tie-ins will also be banned from adverts for unhealthy food. Ads are to be banned from all media aimed directly at children, as well as for media whose audience is at least 25 percent under 16-year-olds.
CAP chairman James Best believes the ban will have a positive impact on the health of children:
These restrictions will significantly reduce the number of ads for high fat, salt or sugar products seen by children. Our tough new rules are a clear demonstration that the ad industry is willing and ready to act on its responsibilities and puts the protection of children at the heart of its work.
The rules only cover the UK, and it is not clear what action — if any — will be taken to try to prevent the appearance of advertisements from other countries.
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