TFL bans junk food adverts

Keiligh Baker's picture

A ban on advertising junk food across London's entire public transport network has come into force today.

New restrictions will see brands stopped from advertising of high fat, salt and sugar products.

The ban aims to combat childhood obesity and has been praised by Public Health England, but the Advertising Standards Authority CEO Stephen Woodford argued there was "no clear evidence" that the ban would solve the problem.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan previously said: “It’s clear that advertising plays a huge part in the choices we make, whether we realise it or not, and Londoners have shown overwhelming support for a ban on adverts for junk food and drink on our transport network.”

It has been estimated that a junk food advertising ban could cost TfL up to £13.3m per year in lost revenue from advertisers.

But it does not appear to be too worried. A spokesman said: "We've already seen large advertisers confirm they will continue to advertise on the TfL network under the new rules - by advertising their products that are not too high in fat, salt and sugar."

Cancer Research UK found in a recent study that young people who recall seeing junk-food adverts every day are more than twice as likely to be obese.

Today, the Mayor of London tweeted: "Children who recall seeing junk food adverts every day are twice as likely to be obese. Advertising works. We’re taking action on #ChildhoodObesity by taking junk food adverts off the @TfL network - a move 82% of Londoners support."

Jamie Oliver wrote in the London Evening Standard: "It’s a brilliant long-term move that will have a lasting legacy for our kids and their health.

"Advertising influences what children eat, and every parent knows the role these ads play when it comes to “pester power”.

"Junk-food ads undermine any positive work we’re doing in schools or at home to help kids eat well. It’s no wonder our top public health experts recommend restrictions on advertising as one of the most effective ways to reduce childhood obesity.""