by BFFF
Dec 14th, 2022
4 mins
BFFF

The UK government has announced that the 9pm watershed ban on TV and online advertising for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) will be further delayed to 1 October 2025.

The delay comes following feedback from industry and regulators as it was made clear that there is insufficient time to prepare for the implementation on the previously announced date of 1 January 2024.

Ahead of the implementation, there are a number of steps that need to be taken, including:

  • A Government consultation on draft regulations that are required to set out of the details of the advertising restrictions, including the definition of the product categories in scope as well as those that are exempt.
  • The making of such regulations.
  • A consultation from the statutory regulator (Ofcom) on the designation of a frontline regulator.
  • Publication of guidance to support business compliance with advertising restrictions.

The government claim they have listened carefully to concerns raised by advertisers, broadcasters and regulators abut the importance of having sufficient time with these documents to fully prepare, restructure advertising and to allow businesses time to reformulate their products.

Parliament included a power in the Health and Care Act to delay implementation of the advertising restrictions if necessary. Government will be utilising this power to amend the date of implementation for the advertising restrictions by secondary legislation.

To show their commitment to the policy, a consultation has been launched on the definitions included in a secondary legislation, to provide detail to that included in the Health and Care Act. The consultation will run for 16 weeks until 31 March 2023.

The consultation will not be inviting opinions on the policy, it is to confirm the clarity of the definitions used and that the text in the secondary legislation is fit for purpose.

The government claim having a fit and healthy population is essential for a thriving economy and they remain committed to helping people live healthier lives, so obesity remains a priority for them.

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