Junk food ad ban extended

Ofcom outlaws ads aimed at children under 16 in an effort to tackle rising childhood obesity.
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A new ban on adverts for junk food during TV programmes aimed at children under 16 has come into force, after regulator Ofcom outlawed ads for foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

The move is the latest stage in a phased crackdown on advertising during programmed aimed at or appealing to children. In April 2007, the ads were banned during shows made to appeal to seven to nine year olds. By December 2007, dedicated children's channels had to phase them out altogether.

According to a report on the BBC, terrestrial broadcasters have predicted their advertising revenue will fall by one per cent after the ban. Child-oriented satellite channels expect a nine per cent drop, while commercial channels aimed entirely at children are fearing a 15 per cent fall.

In addition to the scheduling restrictions, Ofcom is also planning to ban the use of celebrities and characters, such as cartoon heroes, from advertising unhealthy food. Free gifts and health or nutrition claims will also be banned.

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