Sunday, September 25, 2022

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    IPA welcomes Liz Truss' HFSS ad ban u-turn

    The IPA has welcomed Liz Truss’ new government to scrap the incoming ban on high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) ads before 9pm.

    One week after being sworn in as prime minister, Truss is thought to be overhauling a suite of Boris Johnson’s obesity regulations in a bid to reduce business costs.  

    A statement from Richard Lindsay, legal and public affairs director at the IPA, reaffirmed the trade body’s ongoing stance that the policy “would do nothing to address the problem of childhood obesity that all of us want to solve, but would have a damaging impact on businesses.” He added that the “government’s own evidence” has substantiated that claim.

    The regulation, which was due to come into law in January 2024, would prohibit UK broadcasters from showing HFSS adverts before 9pm, and HFSS advertisers would be banned from placing paid-for adverts online. 

    The IPA along with the AA and Isba have been at loggerheads with the government over the regulation since it was first floated in 2020. 

    “That we are still waiting for a government consultation to provide details of the restrictions just adds to the uncertainty for businesses,” Lindsay said.

    In May, under Johnson’s leadership, the government pushed back the implementation of the ad ban by a year to help the ad industry prepare and seek further consultation. In response to the delay Isba’s director general Phil Smith said: “With the UK in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis and with the spectre of rising inflation, we need a total focus on supporting our food manufacturing and broadcast industries to grow and invest.”

    Along with the watershed HFSS ban, newly appointed health secretary Thérèse Coffey will review the ban on sugary products being displayed at checkouts, multi-buy deals in shops and even the high sugar drink tax. 

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