News

16 Feb 2017

CAP Q&A clarifies new food rules

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has published a set of Q&As which clarify the rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in children’s media. Advertisers will welcome the guidance ahead of the rules coming into force on 1 July 2017.

From 1 July 2017, advertising HFSS food or drink products in children’s media will be banned in the UK. The rules will apply across all non-broadcast media including in print, cinema and, crucially, online and in social media. 

The Q&As confirm that the ban applies to “children’s media”, being forms of media explicitly directed at children and also any other forms of media where children make up over 25% of the audience. Although the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) does not explicitly set out any one method to ascertain audience data for making this assessment, advertisers should follow the overarching rules by targeting their adverts appropriately and the ASA will assess the data used on a case-by-case basis. 

Some advertisers have expressed concern that audience data may not always be available. Where this is the case, CAP advises that the ASA will take into account a number of other considerations including the steps taken by advertisers to target or exclude a particular audience range from their campaign as well as a general analysis of the media content and the context in which it appears. 

Full guidance addressing the restrictions is expected to be published in Spring 2017.