BANNING TV ads for junk food before 9pm will be ineffective and result in viewers being bored with repeats, a Lords’ committee warns.
The Peers say the move would slash the ad revenue needed to develop new shows – and still fail to combat childhood obesity.
PA:Press Association The Government is trying to deal with the country’s childhood obesity epidemic
They claim the proposal in the government’s obesity strategy is “disproportionate” and not supported by evidence. The blackout even covers foods many consider part of a healthy, balanced diet, such as olive oil and yogurt, they add.
The Lords Select Committee on Communications says in a letter to the Health Secretary that it backs the objective of tackling obesity. But it points to research by TV regulator Ofcom that showed junk food ads do not significantly affect kids’ food preference.
The Peers highlight obesity rates remained constant or increased between 2005 and 2010 – even as youngsters saw 37 per cent fewer ads. The government said in June that it will consult on a 9pm watershed for foods high in fat, sugar and salt by the end of the year.
Committee chair Lord Gilbert of Panteg wrote: “The Committee is concerned that a watershed for TV advertising of HFSS products would have a serious impact on the revenue of the UK’s commercial television, at a time when the budgets for original programming are already strained.
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