Oi, leave our kids alone.

It’s time we stopped junk food advertisers slipping around the advertising bans we have to protect our kids.

The Committee of Advertising Practice back in 2007 introduced rules to stop the advertising of food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar during children’s TV. That’s TV especially for children and not TV watched by children such as XFactor.

They have just recently (finally) extended that ban to online, social and cinema advertising, but just like the cigarette companies before them, they will find a way round.

Exhibit 1. Walking through the supermarket with my seven year old last week and his eye were immediately drawn to this…..

Its junk. 21g of sugar per 100g of cereal. Unless your child eats like a bird, then a real-portion bowl will be more sugar than their poor little bodies can take.

How is that not advertising to kids?

Exhibit 2. McDonalds is currently offering toys from the Smurf movie with their happy meals. Before that it was Batman Lego. These movies are both classified as U, they are movies for little kids. Oh, but they can get carrot sticks and water….let’s be real…..happy meal with cheese burger, fries and a juice is nearly 33g of sugar, our kids should only have 24g per day. McDonalds gives away 1.5bn of such toys to our kids each year. Make sure you collect them all.

How is this not advertising junk food to kids?

Finally sport. Our heroes. As a boy I was obsessed with sporting heroes, the World Cup, the Olympics.

Who do we find sponsoring the Olympics? its Coca-Cola and McDonalds. The World Cup? Oh look, it’s those two again. NFL, McDonalds and this time it’s Pepsi. These junk food brands are all over sport as it cuts through to kids and dodges the bans. Coke sponsors youth football tournaments worldwide. McDonalds are all over youth football in the UK, they are even giving away free team kits for kids with their logo emblazoned across their chests.

How is that not advertising junk foods to our kids? Really, seriously, how else could you possibly describe it?

We need to swing the power of choice in what we feed our kids back to the parents and say oi, no, leave our kids alone.


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