Junk food marketing to children

Watching tvPromotions for unhealthy processed foods and drinks are undermining efforts to encourage children to follow a heart healthy diet.

Our report, The 21st Century Gingerbread House, reveals the tactics companies are using to market to our children online.

Read the report

Learn how to market a Lard Bar

Sign the petition


What needs to be done?

We need a system that truly protects our children and young people from sophisticated marketing campaigns for unhealthy products. So we're calling for the UK Governments to introduce new regulations which are consistent across all media and cover all forms of marketing.

The regulatory system for non-broadcast advertising - including online and in magazines and posters - is weak. The rules are vague and don't distinguish between healthy and unhealthy products. They also fail to cover a number of common marketing techniques. For example, brand characters, brand marketing, and product packaging featuring games and competitions are not included in the regulations.

Restrictions on TV advertising for unhealthy products have reduced the number of junk food advertisements children see. But marketers can still advertise unhealthy products during some of the television programmes most watched by children such as X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, because the restrictions only cover children’s television programmes.

  • To better protect children the UK Government should introduce consistant regulations across all forms of media, which cover all advertising techniques and distinguish between healthy and unhealthy products.
  • All television advertisements for unhealthy products should be screened after the 9pm watershed.

For more information please read our policy statement or email policy@bhf.org.uk.