IAB UK, ISBA & IPA respond to Government's HFSS consultation

Posted on: Tuesday 22 December 2020 | IAB UK

Read our joint response to the UK Government’s consultation on a total online advertising ban for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS)

Following the announcement in July 2020 that the Government was considering banning all HFSS advertising online by 2022, a consultation was subsequently launched in November 2020 on how it can implement such a ban. Below you can find a joint response to this consultation by IAB UK (representing the UK’s digital advertising industry), ISBA (representing British advertisers) and the IPA (representing the UK’s advertising, media and marketing communications agencies). As stated in the document, this unprecedented joint response reflects the potential existential impact of the Government’s proposal across the advertising industry.  

 IAB UK, ISBA and the IPA do not support the Government’s proposed outright ban of HFSS food and drink ads online. We believe is a disproportionate measure to limit children’s exposure to such ads, which stands to have wide-ranging impacts for brands, advertising agencies (both media and creative), media owners and our world-leading digital advertising industry. The response, which you can download in full below, includes the following points:   

  • Evidence does not support a link between children’s exposure to online advertising and childhood obesity rates   

  • Current measures mean that children are exposed to very little HFSS advertising – which is dropping rapidly as children’s media consumption changes 

  • Digital advertising allows for a precision targeting approach, which would not only be more effective, but also far more cost-efficient and proportionate – yet this has not been considered by Government 

You can read the full response, which has now been submitted to Government, below.  

Written by


Related content

A person holding a phone

Does the HFSS online ad ban apply to your ad?

To help all parts of the digital ad industry understand what is and isn't covered by the impending ad ban, we’ve put together some easy-to-use guidance 

... Learn more

IAB UK response to DCMS Data Reform consultation

We have responded to the DCMS consultation on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime Learn more

HFSS ad ban: Where are we now & what's next?

Read an update on our work regarding the HFSS online ad ban from our Public Policy Manager, James Davies

Learn more

IAB submission to Comms & Digital Committee’s digital regulation inquiry

Learn more

Why digital advertising works

Discover why digital advertising is effective for reaching your customers and building brands.