Children's exposure to TV alcohol advertising sees sharp decline

Children’s exposure to TV alcohol advertising declined by 62.5% between 2013 and 2017, according to a new report from the Advertising Standards Authority.

The watchdog set out to discover the amount of ads for alcohol, gambling and foods high in fat, salt or sugar that under-18s in Britain typically see.

It found that alcohol saw the steepest decline over the four-year period, followed by supposedly unhealthy foods at 45.5% and gambling at 37.3%, although it noted that it did not have the full picture for foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

On average British children saw 161.2 TV ads per week in 2017 and one of them is about an alcoholic drink, while 2.8 cover gambling and 9.6 focus on foods deemed to be unhealthy.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Protecting children has always been at the heart of our regulation. These findings show that in recent years, children’s exposure to TV ads for alcohol, gambling and food and soft drink products high in fat, salt or sugar is declining.

“We’re not complacent though and we’ll continue to actively monitor and report on this important area of work. Our next focus will be to examine whether the rules are working in the same way online and we’ll report on that later in 2019.”

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