Brands call for alternatives to online junk food ads ban – The Guardian

Food and drinks producers have pleaded with the prime minister to satisfy them to debate alternate options to far-reaching plans for a complete ban on on-line junk meals promoting.

Proposals unveiled to sort out the rising weight problems disaster had been so broad “they even seize household favourites from chocolate to peanut butter to sausage rolls”, Boris Johnson was informed in a letter by representatives of greater than 800 producers and three,000 manufacturers together with Mars and Kellogg’s.

Pleading for extra time to reply to a session, the businesses mentioned they’d been an indispensable a part of “feeding the nation” throughout the pandemic and had been nonetheless braced for the opportunity of a no-deal Brexit. The plans, unveiled this month, would disproportionately hit small- and medium-sized enterprises, they claimed.

“Is it actually the federal government’s intention {that a} native wedding ceremony cake enterprise, for instance, wouldn’t be capable of share product particulars on its Instagram account with a purpose to develop its gross sales?” the letter writers requested.

The sheer quantity of vital work dealing with meals corporations within the subsequent few weeks as Brexit loomed meant they can’t give the session the useful resource it demanded, added the letter, written from the Meals and Drink Federation (FDF), in addition to the UK Hospitality and the Promoting Affiliation.

It concluded: “We additionally ask for the chance to satisfy with you and the No 10 well being coverage staff as soon as useful resource on either side permits, to debate different approaches that could possibly be thought-about, which might obtain the federal government’s goal of decreasing little one publicity to promoting, with out imposing full bans throughout the web and different pointless restrictions.”

Well being campaigners have welcomed the proposed ban, which is topic to a six-week session. The restrictions would go a lot additional than proposals in the summertime, and would have an effect on meals deemed to be too excessive in fats, salt and sugar.

However a variety of meals, from avocados and marmite to jam and cream, could possibly be caught alongside what’s considered as conventional “junk meals”.

The tougher-than-expected guidelines got here after Johnson modified his personal view on private well being selections following his coronavirus an infection this 12 months. Obese individuals are prone to extra extreme sickness from Covid-19, or demise. Analysis has discovered that one in three youngsters leaving major college are chubby or overweight, as are virtually two-thirds of adults in England.

The letter to Johnson mentioned that the food and drinks business agree that merchandise excessive in fats, salt or sugar shouldn’t be focused at youngsters. It accused the federal government of disregarding submissions that advertisers used subtle on-line instruments to goal their commercials at grownup audiences.

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