the junk food ban announced last week represents not a sensible curb on the influence of advertisers on naive young minds, but rather an unnecessary step pandering to the notion that a curb in advertising will improve the health of children.
two things will improve the health of children in th UK. eating healthier food and getting more exercise. neither of which will happen as a result of OFCOM’s regulations. whether you like it or not, kids in the UK – as indeed are we all – are exposed to a barrage of commercial messages. these messages exist and a funded because there is sufficient demand for the products they advertise. and there is demand not because the industry brainwashes children into buying them, but because kids or parents is buying junk food.
the only consequence of the regulations will be a hit on the commercial incomes of channels targeting young people. the only consequence of that will be a decline in the quality of the content on those channels. which is in no one’s interest.
in fact, TV is arguably the only media channel that educates children whilst serving them ads. junk foods will still appear on posters and an array of other media, children will still be aware of their existence. the only thing the kids will miss is quality programming to educate and stimulate (as well as of course entertain).
so well done… TV revenues down. programme budgets slashed. junk food still being sold. and regulations in place to do something that any responsible parent should be doing in the first place.