The Labour Party has pledged to ban junk food ads from programmes showing before the 9pm watershed should it win the upcoming general election. That would mean adverts during breaks on such shows as The X Factor, Hollyoaks and Britain’s Got Talent and would presumably affect possible sponsorship deals with fast food companies, which have been seen around some of those shows in the past.
Why? Although not specifically aimed at them, Labour says children are avid viewers of those shows, and thus the adverts, and that a ban on pre-watershed junk food ads would reduce their exposure to such messages by 82%.
Adverts for unhealthy foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) are already banned on TV aimed specifically at children, but the new plans would impact all shows before the watershed.
The idea is part of Labour’s proposed battle on childhood obesity, which aims to slim the number of overweight children and save the NHS £6 billion in 10 years.
Speaking on BBC breakfast, Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “We are asking people to think about the impact and asking the advertising industry to recognise by putting their messages into things like Britain’s Got Talent all the time, it is having an effect on children saying they want to eat and drink this stuff.”
In case you need reminding, the general election will take place on 8th June.