UK Government Keeps Upper Hand for Ad Bans

27 July 2004

Despite the recent ruling from communications regulator Ofcom that a total junk food ad ban on children's television would be 'ineffective' [WAMN: 23-Jul-04], the British government has reserved the right to exercise its power over such matters.

New legislation places 'ultimate power' in the hands of culture, media and sport secretary Tessa Jowell, who will be able to overrule decisions made by Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority (Broadcast) over the airing of commercials for junk foods and alcohol.

Jowell tops the new hierarchy of 'co-regulation', with Ofcom given second place over the ASAB. Should the government choose to intervene in ad broadcasting, it plans first to consult Ofcom before resorting to the prohibition of certain categories of advertising.

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