Health Campaigners Slam Food Brands for Online Advertising Aimed at Children

Food brands have come under renewed fire over their online advertising following health campaigners filing a "super-complaint" to Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Charity groups have filed 54 separate complaints to the advertising watchdog which accuse brands such as Kerry Foods and Cadbury of targeting children with online marketing for junk food.

The ASA has responded by saying it will "carefully and thoroughly" assess the concerns raised by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and The Children's Food Campaign (CFC) to decide on whether there are solid grounds for an investigation.

The BHF and CFC also filed a joint report outlining their concerns in December. Campaigners are asking for new legislation with stricter rules on what is and isn't suitable for online advertising.

Kather Hashem, CFC spokeswoman, commented: "The pervasive nature of online junk food marketing to children really leaves us with no choice but to submit this 'super-complaint'. It is time for the ASA to face the music: will it or will it not act to protect children from cynical junk food marketing practices?"

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