LONDON: The UK government's controversial 'traffic light' food labelling system to alert consumers to the healthy or otherwise contents of their shopping cart has been brought to wider attention through a television commercial.

The advertising, commissioned by regulator the Food Standards Agency, carries the message "High, medium, low - be in the know", referring to levels of fat, salt and sugar in food.

The voluntary traffic light system, recommended by the agency in March, codes foods green, amber or red. However, it has been boycotted by dominant supermarket giant Tesco and smaller rival Morrisons, among others, which have opted for their own labelling formats.

Nor has the 'traffic lights' system been accepted by the country's major food manufacturers [WARC News: 06-Sept-06].

Undeterred, the FSA's head of nutrition Rosemary Hignett says: "We want to start raising the profile of exactly what people will see when shopping in stores that use traffic light labelling."

Media regulator Ofcom, meanwhile, is mulling calls for a pre-9pm ban on TV advertising of 'junk' foods.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff