Children, television and advertising: An update

Over the past couple of days, there has been a flurry of news in relation to the television advertising ban for foods high in saturated fat, salt or sugar. In a nutshell, the nutrient profiling model used by Ofcom to determine which ads are banned (and which are allowed) has a couple of unintended consequences: As the magazine “The Grocer” points out that adverts for healthy foods such as honey, olive oil or cheese will all be banned under the new rules. However, advertising for white bread, chicken nuggets and diet cola will still be allowed. The problem is caused by the profiling system being based on 100g “portions” rather than realistic portion sizes (and honestly, would you drink, or give your children, half a glass of olive oil?).

At the same time, Masterfoods, manufacturers of such health promoting food as Mars, Bounty, Galaxy, Twix and Snickers has graciously decided no longer to “target” children with their television advertising. While that is, of course, very nice of them – I do kind of wonder if it was nothing else but a nice little publicity stunt. After all, the advertising for the entire product palette will be banned in and around television programs targeted at children soon anyway…

Finally, the television people have also decided to have a little banter around the advertising ban. Nothing revolutionary really, just that this time ITV has woken up and claims that the ad ban will threaten the “high quality” programs for children produced by them (as the BBC has no ads anyway). Amazingly last November, they seemed to have no idea about it, when high quality (in the words of its own chief executive: “football, films and f*******”) channel five was saying the same thing.

Photo Credit: riechtlaut.

You may also like...