The IPA has today (23 November) issued its response to the Mayor of London’s Draft London Food Strategy.
Within its official response, it states that while it supports the fundamental purpose of the Draft London Food Strategy to enable “every Londoner to have access to healthy, affordable, culturally-appropriate good food”, and the Mayor’s priority in tackling child obesity in particular, it does not agree with the proposal to ban the advertising of HFSS products across the Transport for London estate.
Says Richard Lindsay, IPA Director of Legal & Public Affairs:
“An advertising ban is not going to meet the Mayor’s main objective of preventing childhood obesity because there is no evidence that advertising is the cause of the problem. It goes without saying that we all want children to lead healthier lives, but various socio-economic issues are at play. Banning ads for all high fat salt sugar (HFSS) products will throw the baby out with the bathwater. It will prevent the advertising of some products which, although classified as HFSS, may actually form part of a balanced diet, and it will include ads for products of interest to adults rather than children.
“The UK’s advertising agencies are renowned as among the best in the world. They are, of course, skilled ad creators, but they are also skilled problem-solvers. The Mayor might stand a better chance of achieving his objective if he included the UK’s ad agencies in his efforts to solve the problem of childhood obesity.”
The IPA has formally responded to the Mayor’s office, and supports and has contributed to the AA’s official response.