Parliament Summons Marketers to Child Obesity Inquiry

06 November 2003

It reads like a 'Who's Who' in UK marketing.

Martin Glenn, president of PepsiCo UK; Cilla Snowball, ceo of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (which handles Pepsi's market-leading Walkers Snacks account); Bruce Haines, past-president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and group chief executive of Leo Burnett, incumbent on McDonald's UK business; and Andrew Brown, Advertising Association director-general.

All have been summoned to appear before the parliamentary select committee on health to give evidence to its Inquiry into Obesity. In particular, the committee will address the issue of child obesity - currently the hottest of marketing/political hot potatoes.

On November 27 all will give evidence to the committee and can expect a remorseless grilling from MPs as they defend their marketing strategies. The inquiry comes as pressure mounts for a complete ban on advertising food and drink on children's TV programmes.

Backbench MP Debra Shipley (Labour, Stourbridge) on Tuesday reintroduced a Private Members Bill calling for such a ban [WAMN: 04-Nov-03].

"Little children watching independent television channels are daily bombarded with images of happy little boys and girls eating high fat, high sugar and high salt-content food and drink," she emoted to the House of Commons. "They repeatedly hear jingles designed to appeal to them."

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff