U.K. marketers escape kid ad ban

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[London] U.K. marketers won't be banned from advertising food and drinks to children, but tightening the rules on advertising to kids is still on the agenda, warned U.K. independent regulatory body Ofcom in a report issued last week amid growing concern in Europe over childhood obesity. Several high-profile U.K. groups, including the British Medical Association, have called for a total ban on food ads aimed at kids under 12. In its report, Ofcom concluded that such a ban would be disproportionate and ineffective and said that TV spots had only a modest impact on children's food consumption compared to other factors such as exercise, family eating habits and school policy. Ofcom also found that 70% of children's viewing takes place outside of the hours defined as children's airtime, making it difficult to prevent them from seeing food ads.