GM Thought of the Week: Jamie Oliver takes the fat fight to Government

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GM Thought of the Week: Jamie Oliver takes the fat fight to Government

Jamie Oliver is once again weighing in to battle the UK’s increasing problem with childhood obesity. His latest fat-fighting campaign is putting pressure on the Government to review their advertising policies. The one-time Naked Chef is pushing for a full ban on all TV adverts that promote food or drink that contain high amounts of fat, salt or sugar until after the 9pm watershed. Alongside this, he is also fighting for tighter measures covering other non-broadcast media, with the hope of protecting children from exposure to HFSS advertising in magazines, online and on social media sites.

 

Currently The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code only applies to sites where children make up more than 25% of the audience.

 

Jamie also wants to see changes on who and what are advertising HFSS, including a ban on using licensed characters (e.g. from cartoons) and celebrities popular with children to promote HFSS products.

 

If the TV ban becomes a reality, we could potentially see TV spend being moved onto Youtube or Facebook, which wouldn’t solve the problem.

 

Advertising alone is not the only factor linked to the obesity crisis. Many other factors come into play, such as parental choices, school policies, social-economic situations as well as inactive hobbies and pastimes – all of which the CAP widely acknowledge.

 

Children’s media habits have changed significantly since the original ban in 2007, with live television being viewed less , therefore a pre-watershed TV ban could have a lesser effect.

 

The advertising/marketing industry as whole (AV and non AV) should take the lead on this matter before a harsh ban potentially comes into place which could impact the advertising market by hundreds of millions of pounds. In a recent article Channel 4 estimated the broadcast market alone could lose 200 million pounds, if advertisers are able to take control and actively avoid targeting kids with HFSS goods, then there may be a chance that CAP ban could be avoided

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