Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ofcom Confirms Television Junk Food Ban

From Digital Spy:

Junk food ban confirmed

Ofcom has confirmed it is to go-ahead with plans to ban junk food advertising to children under 16.

The regulator today released a final statement on the restrictions which were announced in November last year.

The ban includes all television advertising of food and drink products high in fat, salt and sugar on programmes and channels which hold a particular appeal to children under 16, regardless of what time they air.

November's announcement surprised the industry, with many expecting the restrictions to apply only to programmes which appeal to children under 10 at certain times of the day.

Broadcasters showing programming for the under 16s will be given until January 2008 before the restrictions come into force. Existing ad campaigns or those in the final stages of creative execution can be broadcast until the end of June 2007, though from July 1 2007 all advertising campaigns must comply with the new content rules.

Children's channels will be allowed a graduated phase-in period with full implementation required by the end of December 2008.

Ofcom has said it will review the effectiveness and scope of the new restrictions in autumn 2008, one year after the full implementation of the restrictions.

Also, from C21 Media:

Ofcom sticks by under-16s ad ban

UK regulator Ofcom has published its final statement about the television advertising of food and drink aimed at children, and is standing by its decision to extend restrictions to all kids under 16.

From April 1, 2007, high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) food ads will not be permitted in or around programmes made for children under 10. From January 1, 2008, HFSS ads will not be permitted in programming targeted at under-16s.

As stated in November, specialised children's channels will be allowed a graduated phase-in period, with full implementation required by the end of December, 2008.

Last November Ofcom left the TV and ad industries reeling when it said that in addition to a total ban on junk food ads around all children's programming and on all children's channels the restrictions would be extended to all shows that have a "particular appeal" to under-16s, regardless of when they air. This means programmes such as The Simpsons, Hollyoaks and The X Factor could be affected.

Ofcom has also brought forward its review of the future of children's programming, in which it will investigate the extent to which the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, S4C, Five and Teletext are fulfilling their public service responsibilities. It is expected to take into account the impact of the recent junk food ad ban. The findings of its research will be published this summer.

Jules Grant
22 Feb 2007
© C21 Media 2007

C21 Media also reports that Viacom Networks UK, who run Nickelodeon UK, has reacted to media regulator Ofcom's latest statement on 'junk' food advertising, claiming the response is "disproportionate" and based on "insufficient and inconclusive research."

No comments: