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Starting 2023 Junk Food Ads Online And Before 9pm On TV Banned In The UK

The British government is will be announcing a ban on junk food advertising online and on TV (before 9pm) starting 2023, as part of the country’s efforts to tackle the growing obesity crisis.

The new measures, when implemented, will be some of the strictest restrictions in the world, and is expected to greatly affect the food advertising sector, which spends at least £600mn annually. On the other end of the scale, TV broadcasters like ITV and Sky could lose around £200mn in revenue.

The online ad ban will hit all forms of paid digital marketing, from Facebook ads, paid searches, and paid activity on social media. The UK sees about £400mn spent on advertising food products online.

The announcement is expected to happen sometime late in June 2021, and comes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s shifted views on personal health following his hospitalization with coronavirus in 2020.

Research has noted that one in every 3 kids leaving primary school in the UK are overweight or obese, as are about 2/3rds of adults in the country.

In 2020, the government’s consultation on proposals estimated that children under 16 ended up exposed to about 15bn junk food ads online in 2019, which is a huge boost from 700mn from 2 years prior.

The restrictions on junk food ads have exemptions, such as brand-only ads being allowed to keep going, even if the company is often associated with bad dietary habits, as long as anything classified as HFSS products show up.

The ban, as well as the list of products that it’ll cover will see a king kong advertising review and reevaluation every 5 years.

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