Supermarket Milk Falls Foul of UK 'Junk' Food Ad Rules

11 June 2007

LONDON: Confusion over rules for food commercials during children's TV shows has led to Britain's number two supermarket chain being banned from advertising its full-fat milk.

Asda, part of the Wal-Mart empire, is challenging the directive after its milk narrowly failed to meet nutrient values set out by Food Standards Agency guidelines.

Asda is demanding that media watchdog Ofcom change the testing formula that defines unhealthy foods. It uses the FSA's nutrient profiling model to decide which products high in fat, salt or sugar should be subject to advertising restrictions.

The rules were introduced last year to help combat the rising levels of obesity among British youngsters [WARC News: 20-Nov-06].

Asda says the regulations give "serious cause for concern". While Dr Judith Bryans, director of the Dairy Council which represents milk producers and processors believes: "The guidance needs to be very, very clear and I don't think it is."

Ofcom says the FSA will review its nutrient profiling model after a year of use.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff