Ofcom Hails Junk Food Rules Success, Appoints New Chief

19 December 2008

LONDON: TV junk food ads targeting children in the UK have fallen by a third since the introduction of new regulations by Ofcom in 2007. This means there is one less problem facing Colette Bowe, who has just been appointed as the communications regulator's new chairman. 

Ofcom estimates that the number of ads for products high in salt, fat and sugar shown during programmes aimed at under-16s has fallen by 34%.

Children aged 4–9 were exposed to 39% fewer ads, and those aged 10–15 to 28% less TV spots, since Ofcom introduced more restrictive rules in July 2007.

The number of junk food ads in child-orientated shows fell by 63%, with a further decline of 28% between 6pm–9pm, according to the regulator.

Colette Bowe is already an Ofcom board member, as well as sitting on the boards, among others, of financial giant Morgan Stanley and investment management company Axa Framlington.

Her previous position include that of chief information office at the Independent Broadcasting Authority, a predecessor of Ofcom, and at the Department of Trade and Industry during the controversial Westland Affair in 1986. 

Says governmet business secretary Peter Mandelson: "The communications industries have huge significance for our economy during these challenging times, and Colette's knowledge and experience across business, regulation and Whitehall will be invaluable at Ofcom in helping deliver greater choice and innovation across the sector."

Data sourced from Brand Republic/Guardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff