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Junk food advertising

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 20 February 2013

Does advertising junk food make children fat? Yes say doctors - so ban it before 9pm. No say advertisers - no evidence. They accuse the medics of "grandstanding". So who's right? New Labour cabinet minister James Purnell is one of the new DG's first appointments and will become the new director of strategy and digital. How's his appointment been received and what will he bring to the Corporation. And what's going on behind the scenes as the BBC prepares to publish the transcripts of the Pollard Review. Presented by Steve Hewlett. Producer Beverley Purcell.

  • Clarification

    During the debate about obesity and TV advertising Steve Hewlett quotes, from an academic article, the words of a statement attributed to Professor Gerard Hastings:”If we want to do something about this intelligently, we have to consider the whole process.  And in that context, I think banning TV advertising to children is going to be, at best, ineffective.” 

    He has asked us to point out that his comments were edited in the article and he was not arguing against tighter controls on marketing, as the programme suggested. The full text reads as follows….

    ‘If we want to do something about this intelligently, we have to consider the whole process. And in that context, I think banning TV advertising to children is going to be, at best, ineffective; all you’re going to be doing is squeezing the balloon. We know this from tobacco. In tobacco, the first step into regulating that market was to ban advertising on television. All that happened was that the tobacco industry pumped all their resources into other avenues of advertising. The effect is very difficult to pick up at all. So we know that we need to be much more radical, we need to be much more strategic, and we need to be much more broad-based in our response to this problem.’   

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