Children viewing significantly less HFSS food ads

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

According to the ASA, there's been a "significant decline" in the volume of TV ads promoting foods high in fat, sugar or salt viewed by children in the last year. 

The Advertising Standards Authority said that in 2018 children saw an average of eight TV ads for HFSS foods last year, down from 9.6 per week in 2017 and 12.4 per week in 2016.

According to the watchdog, children’s exposure to all TV ads for food and soft-drink brands has halved from an average of 35.5 ads per week in 2008 to 17.8 ads per week in 2018. 

The trend is part of children generally viewing fewer tv ads per week, down 38.1% since 2013.

Guy Parker, ASA chief executive, said: "Our priority is to ensure children are protected and we’re pleased that there’s a clear reduction in children’s exposure to TV ads for HFSS products and consistently low alcohol ad exposure levels."

"We’ve also policed the rules online through our proactive monitoring work, which uses technology to find out which ads children are seeing, followed by swift action against online advertisers who have broken the rules."