Last week, the British authorities announced they would ban online and television advertising for so-called “junk food” before 9pm, starting in 2023. The ban targets many foods that are high in salt, fat or sugar, including chocolate, ice cream, soda, breakfast cereals, and pizza.
The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the plan aims to fight child overweight.
“To fulfill our ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030, it is imperative to reduce children’s exposure to high-fat, high-salt products.[,] and sugar (HFSS“TV and Internet advertising,” the government said in a statement declaration last week.
This is a cynical move that will have no impact on overweight – not until 2030, not until 2040, not even from 2525.
To put it bluntly, no child has become overweight after seeing food ads – just like no adult later crashed their car because they saw Jake from State Farm on their television. If it were advertising that provided children (or adults) with salt, fat, sugar and various vitamins, minerals, nutrients and calories, then marketing would replace eating as human food. This did not happen.
What actually happens – apology for declaring what may seem obvious, but it is clear not visible to everyone—It is that parents and / or guardians 1) buy food that children eat and / or 2) give children money to buy food. Children do not choose what foods they eat. Adults choose what children eat by buying that food. This is. This is the tweet.
Now, he asks, begs, polishes children and pursues adults in their lives to buy so-called junk food? Absolutely! And do some adults give up before all that wailing and cajoling? Of course! But does this mean that the government should intervene to play the role of parent or guardian of that child? Hell no! It depends on these parents parent. Say no. To explain why some foods are special foods and others are what children can and should eat every day. To create healthy habits that children can build after becoming teenagers and adults.
Even if the marketing bans met their goals – they do not have them, they do not do them and they will not do them – this British would fail again. This is because, just like Politico reports, The Great Prohibition of British Advertising contains a number of gaps. For one, it only applies to paid advertising – and not, for example, a food company’s social media accounts (ies). Furthermore, the ban excludes small businesses, radio and podcast ads, and advertisements for so-called junk foods that do not visually show any of the unused foods mentioned. So-called “healthy foods” high in fat, salt and / or sugar – including honey, olive oil and avocados – are also exempt from the ban, Hill reports.
I am hardly the only critic of the ban on food marketing in Britain. Noel Yaxley, writing in Article, say banning advertising will hurt food companies and news units at a time when they are still trying to emerge from the economic devastation created by the pandemic and the constraints associated with it.
A leading British digital marketing spokesperson agrees.
“I can write an entire piece highlighting the lack of evidence behind this tokenistic advertising ban and how it represents a completely missed opportunity to address the root causes of child obesity,” Jon Mew wrote in a PIECES ABOUT Adweek. “Or the fact that the ban is built on an assumption that is incorrect – that a linear relationship can be established between seconds of online exposure of HFSS ads and calories consumed.”
As I wrote in one column at the beginning of last year on the implications of Brexit, Britain ‘s exit from the European Union (EU) would put to a real test the permanent British complaints about the European nanny state. With Britain no longer subject to EU regulations, I wondered if it would embrace cheaper food markets or simply choose to establish its own oppressive food rules. Last summer, I already was crying the fact that Johnson had embraced the nanny state food restrictions after recovering from a rast i rende of Covid-19, which in Johnson’s case is likely to be exacerbated by his overweight. (Johnson then lost weight thanks “early morning jogs and less carbs, “not restricting food marketing.)
I wondered if post-Brexit Britain would become “a beacon of free trade and prosperity” or if it would instead “pave its way to prominence”. Alas, I think we have our answer.