UK’s ban on advertising HFSS items delayed by a year due to high cost of living

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May 16, 2022, 6:01 AM GMT+0

Originally set to take effect on 1 January 2023, the government stated that it will begin a discussion on the proposal in the next few weeks to combat obesity.

Due to the increased cost of living, the UK government has postponed its proposal to implement an advertising ban on high fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS) food items by a year. The delay also includes limiting in-store deals like buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) and restricting the locations of unhealthy food placements in stores.

Julia Lopez, the government’s media, data, and digital minister, says, “We will not be bringing in restrictions on junk food advertising until confident that the time is right." IAB UK, ISBA and the Advertising Association were opposed to the ban, citing the government's own research to combat obesity rates as ineffective.

ISBA's director-general, Phil Smith, appreciates the delay, as the ban's timeline did not allow brands enough time to prepare. Health campaigners, however, have criticised the HFSS advertising ban delay, saying that the policies were "critical to reducing obesity," Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, told Talking Retail.

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