LONDON: UK television producers have set up a campaign group to protect children's programming which they believe is at risk if a 'junk' food advertising ban is introduced.

The group fears around £100 million ($186m; €148m) could be lost to the industry, warning that this might lead to the withdrawal of "funding for quality children's programming on commercial television [thereby putting] many of this country's most successful, imaginative and creative companies out of business".

Save Kids' TV, chaired by former head of BBC children's programs Anna Home, is lobbying British parliamentarians to reject a pre-9pm ban on 'junk' food commercials, one of the options currently being considered by media regulator Ofcom.

Measures to tackle rising obesity rates among the nation's youngsters are "eminently supportable" says a letter from the campaign to MPs. But it urges "full and frank discussions" before any draconian rules are introduced.

Production company RDF Media Group's director of family and children's programming, Nigel Pickard, a supporter of the campaign, wants the government to look at alternative sources of funding for kids' TV if advertising pounds are to be lost.

He comments: "The UK is such an important originator of programmes that travel so well across the world. We shouldn't underestimate what our role is in the world marketplace and what it will be like if we severely damage it."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff