Liz Truss is reportedly poised to scrap new advertising restrictions on HFSS foods proposed by the Government under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Guardian, which first reported the story, suggested that restrictions on the advertising of some products before the watershed on TV could be dropped.
In response, the IPA’s legal and public affairs director Richard Lindsay said: “We have always been clear that, based on that Government’s own evidence, the restrictions would do nothing to address the problem of childhood obesity that all of us want to solve, but would have a damaging impact on businesses.
“That we are still waiting for a Government consultation to provide details of the restrictions just adds to the uncertainty for businesses.”
Sue Eustace, director of public affairs at the Advertising Association, added: “We all agree that addressing obesity requires a holistic, evidence-based approach. By the Government’s own estimates, the planned TV watershed and full online ban for HFSS advertising would barely scratch the surface — only reducing calorie intake by two to three calories a day.
“Advertising bans are not the silver bullet to the nation’s obesity challenge because obesity levels vary considerably across the country and are worst in disadvantaged areas. Childhood obesity would be more effectively tackled with holistic programmes targeted at these areas.”