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Butter and jam fall foul of London transport ‘junk food’ advertising ban

Online retailer Farmdrop had to amend an advert showing fresh produce due to the ‘clumsy’ handling of Transport for London’s (TfL) ban on junk food advertising.

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Butter and jam fall foul of London transport ‘junk food’ ban

Farmdrop, an online retailer selling fresh produce from local farmers, has criticised the handling of Transport for London’s (TfL) ban on junk food advertising after it was ruled to be not ‘high fat, sugar and salt compliant’.

 

The retailer said it agreed with the ban on advertising junk food.

 

“But while the ban is coming from the right place, its handling has been clumsy. We know this because our latest campaign on the tube network has been rejected,” it said.

 

“Why? Because our Farmdrop posters include so-called ‘junk foods’.”

 

The retailer said it had been told by TfL’s sales agent, Exterion, the foods, including eggs and butter were not ‘high fat, sugar and salt compliant’.

 

Children

 

Advertisers can request an exception, if they can demonstrate that a specific product does not contribute to the problem, such as if the product is not generally consumed by children.


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TfL said its advertising agent had asked for evidence the products featured were compliant with the policy and the brand stated some items, jam and butter, were not compliant.

 

The advertising agency recommended it applied for an exception or amended the copy.

 

Farmdrop said it applied for an exception to the rule but the decision would not be made in time for this campaign and it had to crop out the butter and eggs from the picture.

 

TfL score foods individually according to a nutrient profiling model created by the Government.

 

But the retailer said this was a ‘a pretty crude measure’ and could mean some foods which would be considered ‘junk’ could comply with the regulations.

 

Missed opportunity

 

It said this was a ‘missed opportunity’.

 

“We fully support the Mayor of London’s decision to prohibit junk food advertising on the transport network but we are concerned about how it is being applied.

 

“We hope that TfL sees some sense and starts to apply the ban with a little better judgement.

TfL response

 

A TfL spokesperson said: “Child obesity in London is a serious issue: almost 40 per cent of children aged 10 and 11 are overweight or obese, one of the highest rates in Europe.

 

“This ban is designed to reduce children’s exposure to adverts for food and drink which could contribute to this problem.

 

“Our advertising policy requires brands to demonstrate that any food or drink products featured in advertisements running on our network are not high in fat, sugar and salt, unless they have been granted an exception.

 

“In this case, Farmdrop chose not to apply for an exception and our advertising agent worked with them to amend the advertisement.

 

“We have never said that eggs do not comply with the policy.”

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