FDF members use advertising responsibly, following strict UK codes. These include rules for food and drink that can be advertised to children on TV and digital media, enforced by an independent regulator.

We fundamentally oppose the recently announced 9pm HFSS advertising watershed on TV, alongside a ban on all paid for HFSS advertising online, as the evidence does not support that they will reduce childhood obesity. (Governments own data estimates less than a 4 calorie daily deficit in children’s diets as a result of these restrictions).

Advertising bans will limit companies’ ability to advertise reformulated and smaller portioned food and drink. This will pose a real threat to companies trying to launch healthier products.

The FDF’s work focuses on responding to UK Government consultations to extend the advertising restrictions and to change the foods and drink they apply to (nutrient profile model review). We monitor and respond to Scottish and Welsh advertising proposals and other restrictions e.g. transport for London ban.

Updates & milestones

Tune into the FDF Podcast on HFSS Advertising Restrictions

Tune into the FDF Podcast on HFSS Advertising Restrictions

FDF’s latest podcast covers the new advertising rules for high fat, salt and sugar products, which will come into force on 1 January 2023.   FDF’s Amy Glass and Louise Allen are joined by Sue Eustice (Advertising Association) and Rob Newman, (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) to discuss:

  • implications of the rules for food and drink manufacturers and the advertising industry
  • key concerns with the policy, and why we believe it will not affect obesity
  • what alternative approaches should be taken
  • timings and next steps

The podcast is available at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1123904/9185079-advertising

FDF Podcasts are sponsored by Clarke Energy.


UK chosen to lead new Sugar and Calorie Reduction Network


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has chosen the UK to lead a new Sugar and Calorie Reduction network to take global action on sugar and calorie reduction. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Chris Whitty, announced the formation of the network. The UK has seen good progress in sugar reduction and will be using its world-leading expertise in domestic sugar and calorie reduction to support European countries.

The new network’s member states will share learning and technical expertise to encourage manufacturers to reformulate products, reducing the amount of sugar and calories in food and drink. The WHO Sugar and Calorie Reduction Network will launch in spring 2022. Find out more

Government outcome to consultations on HFSS advertising restrictions

The Government has today published the outcome of consultations to further restrict the advertising of products high in fat salt and sugar (HFSS).  It confirms that the planned 9pm watershed on HFSS TV advertising alongside a total internet ban will come into force in the UK simultaneously at the end of 2022 through the Health and Care Bill.

The internet restrictions will NOT apply to company owned media such as blogs, company websites and social media pages.  Brand advertising is also out of scope and small businesses (under 250 employees) are exempt.  See DHC-031-21 for more information.

The 2004/5 nutrient profiling model will be applied to the categories in scope to define what is a HFSS product.  

The nutrient profiling model was reviewed in 2018 but PHE has recently confirmed it is unable to provide an update on the timelines for publication of the new model. The decision is dependent on DHSC. 

ASA report on protecting young people from misleading or harmful advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority has published its annual report which sets out how it is  fulfilling its objective of protecting young people from harmful or misleading advertising.  The report is broad in focus, but includes results of monitoring compliance with HFSS food and drink advertising rules.

In 2020, complaints about food and drink advertising dropped by 12% compared with 2019.  The food and drink sector also fared better in the amount of complaints received than a number of other sectors such as leisure, health and beauty advertising.

Bristol City Council bans HFSS advertising

Earlier this week, Bristol City Council approved its Advertising and Sponsorship policy which will restrict the marketing of food and drink products high in fat, sugar and/or salt (HFSS as defined by the current UK Nutrient Profiling Model). The policy will come into force on 19 March and will affect any advertising generated by the Council itself and advertising and sponsorship by third parties on council-owned spaces, assets and events.

For more information see Decision Details or contact louise.allen@fdf.org.uk.


Food and Drink Federation responds to Government advertising ban plans

The FDF has issued the below response in relation to Government plans to move ahead with an advertising ban on products high in fat salt and sugar (HFSS).

Read more

The Food and Drink Federation publishes shortlist for the FDF Awards 2020

The FDF has announced the shortlist for the Food and Drink Federation Awards 2020, which takes place virtually on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Read more

Receive updates on this topic

Want to keep up to date on this topic?

You can receive email updates on this topic by registering for an FDF account. 

You can edit your preferences so that you receive updates on the topics and the type of information you are interested in. 


Interested in becoming a member?

FDF members have access to a range of benefits to grow, protect and strengthen their business.

Gain an advantage, join FDF today.


Check to see if your company is already a member

How we can help your business