Rules banning ads for junk food came into place in July 2017. Now, the first few companies are feeling its effects – including TfL
What it means: The regulations prevent companies from advertising high fat, salt, and sugar products in areas where over 25% of the audience could be under 16.
Kelloggs promoted a Coco Pops granola bar on a Mr Bean cartoon, and KFC advertised a Mars product on a phone box close to a school – both have now been charged with breaking the rules.
McDonalds, however, escaped a charge – someone lodged a complaint about a Happy Meal ad but the regulatory body said, '80% of mains, 100% of sides and 64% of drink options in the Happy Meal were non-HFSS [junk food products]".
One unlikely loser out of all this, at least in the short term, is Tfl: they got £13.3 million a year in advertising revenues from junk food ads, two thirds of all the food and drink advertising on the service. But considering 40% of children leave primary school obese or overweight in London, and obesity costs the NHS over £6bn a year, the temporary drop in public service revenue is worth it, Mayor Sadiq Khan says.
They're working with the companies now to try and replace the junk food ads with healthy food ones, so everybody wins.