Ban on online junk food advertising in bid to drive down obesity

UK set to ban online adverts for fatty, sugary, and salty food under new proposals set out by Downing Street

The Department of Health and Social are set to conduct a consultation over the next six weeks to understand the impact of introducing such a significant ban. The new measures aim to tackle the country’s growing obesity crisis, however, the proposed move has significantly divided opinion.

The food sector views the idea as radical, fearing that certain foods will unnecessarily be labelled as a health risk under the proposed regulations. Marmite, mustard, hummus, salmon and avocados are all at risk of being banned from online advertising, despite not posing any immediate health risk. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to find that obesity numbers have risen following the initial lockdown back in spring. The nationwide closing of gyms paired with an inclined need to indulge in the more simple pleasures of life (like an extra choccy biscuit with your tea!) during such an uncertain and confining time was bound to have an effect. However, it is still questionable whether banning certain companies from advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, along with using paid search results on Google and text promotions will have any real impact. Matt Kilcoyne, from the free market Adam Smith Institute, pointed out that the proposals would mean you could advertise a lamb joint as long as it’s uncooked, but not if it’s roasted. Just one of the many new regulations left raising eyebrows within the industry. Additionally, advertising campaigners said the plans would also deal a ‘huge blow’ to firms already dealing with the impact of coronavirus.

However, the general health of the public is a significant concern whilst still in the midst of a pandemic. Overweight people are at risk of more severe illness from COVID-19, or death. It is understandable for the government to attempt to mitigate this risk online. Time will tell whether it was the right move to make; provided the government decide to go ahead with the proposal following the six-week consultation. We at Cure and Simple clearly have a stake in all this: our bacon is likely to fall into the high salt content catergory. The proposal would not be ideal. However, we are certain we can navigate through the new climate and continue provide our followers with the online content they love. As far as we’re concerned, if our customers are still happy, we’re happy!