HFSS online ad ban postponed to 2025

Posted on: Friday 09 December 2022 | IAB UK

The Government has moved the implementation of the HFSS online ad ban to 2025, following lobbying from the IAB, our members and industry partners  

The online ad ban for products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) will now come into effect on 1 October 2025. The IAB, our members and industry partners have been lobbying against the ban - which would see digital advertising banned for HFSS food and drink products - since it was first announced by Boris Johnson’s administration in 2020 as part of the Health and Care Bill.  

The ban was originally planned to be introduced in early 2023, but earlier this year the Government said that it would be delayed to 2024, recognising that the industry needed time to prepare. The new 2025 implementation date is welcome as the Government has only today published the required secondary legislation, which is crucial to allow regulators to develop detailed guidance on the ban and what is and is not permitted. The industry needs this clarity in order to sufficiently prepare and we have been making this case strongly to policymakers throughout 2022.  

The Government has also now published draft secondary legislation relating to four key areas: product categories, SMEs, regulated radio and online audio. This is open to industry consultation, with responses due by 31 March 2023. The consultation focuses on technical issues of the products, businesses and services in-scope.

IAB UK will be reviewing the consultation and responding in due course. We will keep members informed as to what the draft legislation includes and how to feed into our response, but please get in touch if you have any questions. Take a look at our FAQs for more information about the ban.

Commenting on the new implementation date, IAB UK’s CEO Jon Mew said: “Throughout this process, we have been clear with Government that clarity and certainty are essential for our industry to effectively adhere to the HFSS online ad ban. The new implementation date announced today is welcome and shows that policymakers are listening. Our members now have longer to prepare for the ban and gain much-needed clarity from the Government about exactly what’s in scope and how it will work in practice.” 

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