Advertisers have launched a scathing attack on the government's plans to introduce further restrictions on junk food advertising, describing them as totally disproportionate and lacking in evidence.
In submissions to a government consultation, seen
exclusively by City A.M. , industry bodies Isba and the Advertising Association (AA) said the proposals would harm advertisers and consumers but would fail to tackle the issue of childhood obesity.
The government has laid out plans to introduce a
9pm watershed on adverts for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) on TV and online .
But the advertising groups have dismissed the policy options, which were previously rejected by media regulator Ofcom, as limited in nature and
speculative in understanding.
The AA said current restrictions, which have been in place since 2008, have not prevented the rise of obesity, while children's exposure to HFSS adverts has also fallen sharply over the last decade.
addition, Isba argued a TV watershed would have a significant and overwhelming impact on adult viewers, who make up the majority of audiences before 9pm.
They also pointed to an impact assessment, published alongside the consultation, which
admitted the proposed restrictions would cut just 1.7 calories per day from children's diets.