The British government has no intention of banning ads for ‘junk food’ during child-oriented programming, a minister has told food manufacturers.

Tessa Jowell – secretary of state for culture, media and sport – reportedly told a meeting of delegates from the food industry that no such regulation is planned.

The comments came at the launch of a new initiative to raise awareness of the workings of advertising among children. Dubbed Media Smart, the scheme is supported by Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble.

Health groups such as Sustain argue that a ban is necessary because over 90% of foods advertised during children’s shows contain too much fat, salt or sugar.

The counter-arguments used by marketers and media firms are that child obesity is more linked to lack of exercise, and that an ad ban would harm the quality of children’s shows.

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