HFSS ad ban announcement

The IPA has received a Government announcement this morning which details its response to both its 2019 and 2020 HFSS consultations on further advertising restrictions.

The Government response is available here. The 2019 and 2020 consultations are also available online.

 In summary, the Government will:

  • Introduce, simultaneously at the end of 2022, a 9pm TV watershed for HFSS products and a restriction of paid-for HFSS advertising online. 
  • All On-Demand Programme Services (ODPS) under the jurisdiction of the UK, and therefore regulated by Ofcom, will be included in the TV watershed for HFSS advertising. 
  • Non-UK regulated ODPS will be included in the restriction of paid-for HFSS advertising online because they are outside UK jurisdiction.
  • These restrictions will be legislated for via the upcoming Health and Care Bill and will come into force at the end of 2022. 

Says Richard Lindsay, Director of Legal & Public Affairs, IPA: "As government is very aware, the ad bans it will be imposing will have no effect on the serious problem of childhood obesity. The bans will grab headlines and suggest that government is doing ‘something’, but what it is doing is misguided and will serve only to damage businesses, not protect children’s health. A TV watershed restriction will not target children and an online ban ignores more effective measures that would see technology being harnessed to reduce children’s exposure to certain types of ads without damaging businesses. The devil will be in the detail, but loud headlines do not mean good policy."

Further details will be released by the IPA in due course. For more information please contact our Legal & Public Affairs team.

Last updated 24 June 2021