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IPA supports AA reaction to Dispatches programme

The IPA fully supports the Advertising Association’s reaction to Channel 4’s programme 'Dispatches: Tricks of the Junk Food Business' (aired on Monday 2nd June), which focussed on the advertising of HFSS foods to children.


The AA’s website statement explains that it worked with the producers of the documentary on behalf of the industry to ensure that the UK's rules on food advertising and advertising to children are understood, and that they have a balanced view of the evidence regarding advertising and obesity. They also outline the evidence and rules around advertising and obesity, including via branded online games, and they explain why they support advertising freedoms.

The IPA’s Director General Paul Bainsfair has also provided a reaction, echoing the AA’s evidence:

"The UK’s advertising rules contain sections specifically designed to ensure that food advertising to children is responsible and does not encourage children to adopt poor nutritional habits or to eat more than they otherwise would. There are additional, general rules designed to protect children on top of that and further rules to ensure the transparency of advertising. The advertising rules apply across all media, including the internet and are accepted and understood by our agency members as sensible and integral to the self-regulatory system enforced by the ASA. Rightly, the ASA understands the importance of taking an “evidence-based regulatory position” rather than looking to appease whoever might  “shout the loudest”. Both the ASA and CAP are conducting a review of online food advertising and the industry will have to abide by their conclusions. Ultimately, advertising is an easy target. It has a role to play in this debate, but there is no evidence to-date to suggest that advertising is a significant factor in childhood obesity.”

For any further information or media enquiries, please contact Ian Barber or Glen Christie at the Advertising Association on 020 7340 1100.

The ASA has also issued a statement on Food advertising and children: Making sure we have a healthy debate.

Last updated 04/06/2014

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