Fat chance ban on junk food TV ads will backfire | Letters

Channel 4’s chief executive is wrong, says Guy Parker of the ASA. Targeting such ads at children online is already banned

The chief executive of Channel 4, Alex Mahon, is wrong to suggest that children are being “hyper-targeted” on digital platforms with ads for products that are high in fat, salt and sugar (Curbs on junk food TV ads may backfire, says C4 boss, 27 June). Targeting such ads at children online is already banned. The ban covers ads on all children’s websites, apps and social media platforms, including on YouTube, Google, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. And the burden of proof is on companies advertising online to show the ASA they’ve taken appropriate steps to target HFSS food ads away from children. Mahon speculates that “every pound previously spent on TV (will be) switched to YouTube or Google and targeted at children”. Given the existing ban, that simply won’t happen.
Guy Parker
Chief executive, Advertising Standards Authority

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Letters

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Guardian view on vaccination: a duty of public health | Editorial
Editorial: The anti-vaxx movement arises from mistrust but threatens the physical health of society

Editorial

17, Feb, 2019 @6:30 PM

Article image
Social media’s contribution to eating disorders | Letters
Letters: I have had consultations with young people where this has been a primary driver of body dysmorphia, writes Dr Stephanie Gounaris-Shannon

Letters

08, Jan, 2020 @6:00 PM

Article image
The Guardian view on Facebook: the arrogance of power | Editorial
Editorial: A few giant companies now control most of the internet. This gives democratic governments a paradoxical opportunity

Editorial

18, Feb, 2019 @6:32 PM

Article image
The great internet swindle: ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
The internet was meant to liberate and empower its users. But the real effect has been to create vast monopolies and turn us into victims, argues web sceptic Andrew Keen in his controversial new book The Internet is Not the Answer

Jon Henley

09, Feb, 2015 @7:15 PM

Article image
Children are being 'bombarded' by junk food ads, research has found
Up to 11 advertisements for junk foods are screened during an hour's viewing of family-orientated television shows

Denis Campbell health correspondent

21, Mar, 2014 @12:01 AM

Article image
The Guardian view on ad tech: a tangled web | Editorial
Editorial: Martin Lewis is suing Facebook. The question is whether companies can be held responsible for the behaviour of their software

Editorial

23, Apr, 2018 @5:01 PM

Article image
Screen time is as addictive as junk food – how do we wean children off? | Belinda Parmar
Social media addiction isn’t a failure of parenting. It’s a feature of the tech industry, says campaigner Belinda Parmar

Belinda Parmar

12, Oct, 2020 @2:45 PM

Article image
TechScape: what to expect from the online safety bill
Up for discussion in the Guardian tech newsletter: Facebook and Google will be targets for Ofcom if the government passes the proposed legislation

Dan Milmo

10, Nov, 2021 @11:45 AM

Article image
New Year's resolutions for big tech: how Silicon Valley can be better in 2018
Tech is one of the richest and most powerful industries in America – and it gets an awful lot wrong. So here’s some seasonal advice for Silicon Valley’s biggest beasts

Julia Carrie Wong

31, Dec, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Don’t let tech giants bury public service TV | Letters
Letters: Public service television shows must remain easy for audiences to find, say the heads of ITV, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV and S4C

Letters

15, Oct, 2018 @5:00 AM