New CAP Code rules on HFSS product advertising came into force in July 2017. These now prevent HFSS product ads from targeting under 16s in all media, placing the UK amongst the strictest places in the world for advertising food and soft drinks to children.

Following the publication of Cancer Research UK’s latest report, Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association, commented:

“The UK has some of the toughest advertising regulations in the world, driven by the Committees of Advertising Practice and enforced where necessary by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The report states that TV food marketing rules have not changed in ten years. While this may be true for TV, CAP carried out a comprehensive review of HFSS advertising to children in 2016 and the codes were reviewed, updated and strengthened last year. The changes mean that whether children are watching programmes on TV or streaming from the internet they are subject to the same protections, which was not the case previously. As young people’s media consumption habits have changed, so have the regulations governing these media.

“The Advertising Association, its members, and other partners in the industry such as the FDF, remain committed to meeting the challenge of childhood obesity, which is an important public health issue in the UK as it is elsewhere.”