Lifestyle Economics

Proposed ‘junk food’ ad ban is an “ill-considered policy designed by fanatics”

Responding to the government’s consultation on banning advertising for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon said:

“The government is proposing a total ban on all internet advertising for a huge range of perfectly normal food and drink products. It will cover everything from jam and yoghurt to Cornish pasties and mustard, and will include all forms of online advertising, including paid-for search engine listings, emails and even text messages – at any time day or night.

“No country in the world has attempted anything like this and with good reason. It will permanently exclude businesses large and small from the primary marketing medium of our time. It is an ill-considered policy designed by fanatics who have mis-sold it to politicians as a ban on ‘junk food’ advertising. It will be hugely damaging to food producers, especially small businesses and start up companies, and will have no impact on obesity. No one has ever been harmed by an advert for a pork pie.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver, Head of Media, on 07715942731 or [email protected].

Christopher Snowdon is available for interview and further comment.

For further IEA reading on what constitutes ‘junk food’ click here.

You can read a critique of paternalism here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.