UK Ad Industry Allies With Government to Promote Anti-Obesity Initiative

24 July 2008

LONDON: For the first time, UK-based retailers, media owners, advertisers, food and drink firms, healthcare and fitness companies have banded together in partnership with government to fight against obesity.

The industry consortium, spearheaded by the Advertising Association, will work alongside government departments to encourage healthy diets and physical activity in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Their objective: to make a significant and measurable contribution to fighting obesity in the UK.

The industry contribution equates to more than £200 million ($398.8m; €252.2m) over the four years and is additional to the government's own £75m, three-year advertising and marketing campaign.

Initial supporters include AMV BBDO, AOL UK, Britvic, BSkyB, Cadbury, CBI, Channel 4, Coca-Cola, Discovery Networks UK, Fitness Industry Association, [TV channel] Five, ITV, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, Nestlé, OMD, Outdoor Advertising Association, PepsiCo, Profero, PruHealth, RadioCentre, Tesco, Viacom and Virgin Media

This is the first time UK food, drink, broadcasting and advertising industries have worked directly with the government to promote healthier lifestyles.

Says AA ceo Baroness Peta Buscombe: "Business is part of the solution to tackling obesity in the UK. By harnessing the immense talents in this country in advertising, marketing and media, we believe we can make a real difference, bringing about real change."

Plans are in development for a series of high profile, industry co-ordinated public events to be held across the UK over the four years up to the London 2012 Olympics.

They are designed to amplify the Government's messages about the need to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet.

Data sourced from Advertising Association (UK); additional content by WARC staff