Food Body to Sweet-Talk UK Politicians Over Kids Ad Ban

15 July 2003

Britain’s food industry is to lobby politicians in a bid to prevent action against food advertising to children.

The Food Advertising Unit, a trade group comprising ad agencies and major food companies, plans for the first time to attend the annual conferences of Britain’s political parties and present arguments against such legislation.

Its move reflects growing anxiety among these advertisers that they may face tighter regulation. Sir Liam Donaldson, the government’s chief medical officer, recently advised that legal restrictions would be introduced unless the food industry takes steps to stop the direct advertising of unhealthy products to children. In addition, a private member’s bill to end such promotion was introduced in April and has gained support among backbench MPs [WAMN: 15-Apr-03].

Around nine out of ten ads shown during kids programmes are for food and drink. Advertisers fear curbs on this practice would hit the industry hard.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff