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United front for tougher codes to protect children

Groups join forces to call for tighter ad rules

Ten organisations have joined forces today to write to the government urging it to tighten new advertising rules to ensure children are protected from irresponsible food marketing tricks.

Which?, The British Heart Foundation, Women’s Institute, the National Union of Teachers and the National Children’s Bureau, among others, have voiced major concerns about the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code for non-broadcast advertising and marketing.

The group says the code is inadequate and won’t reduce children’s exposure to promotions for unhealthy foods.

Code is ‘vague’

In the letter to Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Public Health, the organisations accuse the CAP code of being too vague and failing to deal with the volume of food advertising children are bombarded with.

The group is also concerned that types of food advertising that fall outside the code, such as packaging and sponsorship deals, are dealt with more urgently.

Which? food campaigner Miranda Watson said: ‘The rise in childhood obesity and diet-related disease needs to be addressed urgently. The CAP restrictions were an opportunity to finally make progress, but they have fallen well short of the mark.

‘So many organisations feel incredibly strongly about this issue. The government needs to step in, tighten the existing CAP codes and ensure that those areas that fall outside the codes are tackled.’

* The other organisations are the Children’s Food Campaign, Diabetes UK, National Consumer Council, National Heart Forum and netmums.com.

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