Food and beverage companies strike back at government proposals to ban junk food advertising

Monday, November 23, 2020

Food and beverage companies have called on the Prime Minister to meet them to discuss choices for far-reaching plans to completely ban online advertising on junk food.

The Department of Health and Social Care has this month launched a six week consultation in a bid to try and understand the effects of a complete ban on junk food adverts online.

But in the letter, also signed by the Advertising Association and the British Hospitality Industry and published on social media on Sunday, leading figures in the food and beverages industry branded the proposal a 'disproportionate proposal with an impossibly short time period' for an answer.

Health campaigners welcomed the proposed ban, which is being examined for six weeks.

The letter to the Commission, signed by 800 food and beverage producers and 3,000 3,000 British brands, says that the companies were not given sufficient time to argue their case.

'Given the high volume of the critical work that food businesses face over the coming working weeks with Brexit looming, they could not provide the consultation with the resource it demands,'the letter, which was authored by the Food and Drink Federation and UK Hospitality and Advertising Federation, stated.

Researchers have estimated that the move would also reduce children's obesity by 40.000, thereby saving the UK £7.4billion in lost productivity.

The letter stated the industry shares a common goal of "gradually reducing" the obesity rate but with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Brexit on its horizon, was unable to respond to discussions in time.