Magazine article Marketing

ISBA Warns FSA Not to Intervene in Food Ads

Magazine article Marketing

ISBA Warns FSA Not to Intervene in Food Ads

Article excerpt

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has warned the Food Standards Agency (FSA) against taking a "dangerously interventionist" approach to food advertising, following the FSA's decision to review consumer assurance schemes.

ISBA is concerned that the FSA review could act as the catalyst for heavyweight regulation of food advertising and is determined to use its lobbying muscle to stave off further intervention.

Last week, the FSA said that low recognition among consumers of assurance schemes, designed by food manufacturers to provide a guarantee of brand quality, meant a review was necessary.

Around 20 such commercial initiatives operate in the UK. They include the National Farmers' Union's (NFU) Red Tractor logo. The kitemark provides a pledge that food carrying the logo was produced in accordance with food-hygiene and animal-welfare standards. The FSA has the power to require organisations such as the NFU to abandon consumer assurance schemes if it decides they do not benefit consumers.

"The FSA's review is a clear warning signal. It is a further indication that the FSA is willing to take an interventionist approach to the issues of advertising and promotion of foods. …

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