UK Junk Food Ad Ban Could Cost £190m in Lost TV Spend

17 November 2004

The UK's advertising and media industries could find themselves staring into a £190 million ($350m, €271m) adspend black hole if the government pushes ahead with a ban on junk food commercials.

The Blair administration on Tuesday unveiled its plans for leaner, fitter children - to be achieved, in part, by stopping ads for high fat, sugary foods and drinks on primetime TV.

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom says 71% of children's viewing time takes place between 6pm and 9pm and figures from Nielsen Media Research show food and drinks firms spent £190m on primetime commercials in the twelve months to the end of October.

Trade body, the Advertising Association, has labelled the proposed ban a "short-term, populist and disproportionate response".

Among other measures being considered by the government to encourage healthier lifestyles among the populace is food labelling and a ban on smoking in cafes, restaurants and bars.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff