Yesterday we wrote about the proposed guidelines put forth by a federal interagency working group regarding the marketing of food to children. The “principles” asked for food companies to market products with healthier ingredients and gave suggested limits on things like fat and sodium. The ad industry is less-than-pleased by the news.
“If companies were to comply with these proposals, the restrictions are sufficiently onerous that they would basically block a substantial amount of advertising,” the executive VP-government relations for the Association of National Advertisers told Ad Age. “How much? We still need to find out by digging deeper and talking to our companies on a one-to-one basis.”
Of course, the guidelines set forth by the government are both voluntary and not yet final. Yesterdays’ announcement was the beginning of the 45-day public commenting process, and we’re sure that everyone from consumers to agribusiness giants to Madison Avenue will have a lot to say on the issue.
However, the ANA is a little skeptical about the whole “voluntary” thing. “Despite calling these proposals ‘voluntary,’ the government clearly is trying to place major pressure on the food, beverage and restaurant industries on what can and cannot be advertised,” the group said in a statement.