Government silliness

Small businesses will be exempt from a ban on junk food advertising under plans to be revealed by ministers on Thursday.

OK.

The whole idea is insane anyway but.

However, they said that the online restrictions would stop short of a “total ban”, as it would only apply to paid-for advertising. Small businesses will also be exempt from the online and television ban.

They do know that Maccy D’s runs a franchise plan in the UK, yes? And that a franchise is indeed an independent business?

14 thoughts on “Government silliness”

  1. Macdonalds Corporation buys the advertising space. Franchisees each pay a fee to McD to cover the cost. Do you honestly think each franchise buys its own airtime?

  2. I’m aware of how franchising works, thank you.

    Now, change the incentives. McDonald’s may not advertise. Franchises, being small businesses, may. So, what’s going to happen?

  3. A single franchise is hardly likely to buy TV airtime, local radio, maybe but doubtful – how many restaurants advertise on local radio?, some bandwidth on Facebook and Google, possibly.

  4. The Meissen Bison

    I’m aware of how franchising works, thank you.

    Are you taking the Ely correspondence course?

  5. Such innocence, Alex.
    TV ad for McDo Reading (or wherever) in small print. Same images of sizzling half pounders or gristle nuggets as usual. Franchise gets a year’s discount on its franchise fee per X minutes of TV.

  6. “Are you taking the Ely correspondence course?”

    Oh come on. The words “You are barred” don’t appear in Tim’s answer.

  7. This “ban” is not legally enforceable online. The exemption is irrelevant because any business can look up what powers the ASA has, and online, it has none. It can send a sternly worded letter and that’s all. It’s legal powers only relate to TV.

    McDonalds, Krispy Kreme, whoever, can just completely ignore this. It might then lead to actual regulation, of course.

  8. BoM4

    It might then lead to actual regulation, of course.

    It will, because it’s already coming down the track. There is a load of nonsensical regulation coming next year for HFSS (high fat, sugar, salt) products, ranging from where these products can be placed in a store to what promotions may be run to drive sales. Included in this is a load of online stuff.

  9. As Magnus Pike said decades ago, “there is no such thing as bad food, only bad diet”. This of course, will not deter the food nazis.

  10. Each McD franchise takes it in turn to advertise on TV. Obviously the day the Reading franchise advertises their great grub on national TV and all the other ones benefit from the free exposure, but that’s ok as it’s not been paid for by the other ones benefitting.
    On Tuesday the Middlesbrough franchise buys some national air time, and round the towns we go.

    Might not be allowed but something close to it will be. Advertising is a *creative* industry after all.

  11. Bloke near Worcester

    Yes, it will be interesting to see the ‘creative’ responses to this.

    Bit like there being a rule that there can only be one national lottery…responded to with a whole host of ‘local’ postcode lotteries, all looking remarkably similar

  12. Given everyone already knows what McDonalds sells do they need to show the food in the advertising…run a ‘we’re open 24 hours in lots of locations’ or ‘McDonalds house or some community initiative’ type advert and how can that be banned

  13. @BniC

    and how can that be banned

    It can’t, and isn’t.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/further-advertising-restrictions-for-products-high-in-fat-salt-and-sugar/outcome/introducing-further-advertising-restrictions-on-tv-and-online-for-products-high-in-fat-salt-and-sugar-government-response

    Exemptions

    The policy will have a number of exemptions to balance health benefits and impact on business. They are as follows:

    – brand advertising (online and 9pm TV watershed), provided there are no identifiable HFSS products in the adverts, brands can continue to advertise. This is to ensure that brands are not pigeonholed as synonymous with HFSS products and have the freedom to reformulate and move towards offering healthier products

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