CAP Announces Review of Non-Broadcast Media Food Advertising Rules

The Committees of Advertising Practice has announced that they will be examining the progress of the high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) advertising rules brought in 2017 for non-broadcast media and their impact on children, as well as calling for evidence around the regulation food advertising on children’s TV. 

The non-broadcast media rules ban HFSS food adverts on children’s websites or those targeted on social media. They also restrict such adverts in other media where children make up more than 25% of the audience. The restrictions aim is to ensure that poor nutritional habits are not encouraged nor appeal inappropriately to younger children.

In a press release announing the review, it said: “CAP considers that it is important to provide up-to-date analysis of the latest evidence in this area. It sister body, the Advertising Standards Authority, is also currently undertaking the first dedicated analysis of children’s exposure to TV ads for HFSS products since 2010 and it will publish the results in the summer.”

The review of HFSS restrictions on non-broadcast media will begin on 1 July 2018, and will evaluate the effectiveness of the new restrictions in delivering protections that reflect the reality of children’s multi-media lives. Findings will be published in the autumn, and may include additional steps that CAP consider necessary in order to achieve the rules’ objectives.

The call for evidence on TV advertising closes on 16 May 2018. CAP will evaluate the latest evidence and publish its analysis in the autumn.

Announcing the initiatives, Director of the Committees, Shahriar Coupal said: “These two initiatives signal our clear commitment to make sure the rules continue to protect children and achieve our aim of reducing children’s exposure to ads for less healthy food and soft drinks. The causes of childhood obesity are multiple and complex, with advertising playing a limited role, but it’s crucial we review the latest evidence to sense check the rules are working and respond where evidence shows they need to change.  It’s important our rules reflect and remain fit for children’s multi-media lives.”