Plans of the German Federal Minister Cem Özdemir to enact a total ban on confectionery advertising during a period of time in the day has been said by the Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) to be “disproportionate” and “questionable”.
A draft law for advertising aimed at children was presented by Federal Minister Özdemir on 27 February 2023 and called for a complete ban of advertising of confectionery and other food products from 6am to 11pm.
“From our point of view, Federal Minister Özdemir’s proposals are disproportionate and also constitutionally questionable. There are no scientific studies on the effectiveness of advertising bans on the development of childhood obesity, as the Ministry itself admitted in a parliamentary question,” explained Dr. Carsten Bernoth, General Manager of the BDSI. “The BDSI does not consider the planned advertising bans to be effective in reducing the overweight rate of 15% in children, which has existed for many years.”
Along with claims that a complete ban would not effectively target obesity rates in children, the BDSI argued that they would have a “drastic impact” on advertising as a whole. Advertising confectionery would be ruled out to begin with if the World Health Organization’s (WHO) nutritional profile were to be used as a basis, as the nutritional profiles do not allow for any advertising in the confectionery category.
“Federal Minister Özdemir’s proposals therefore go far beyond the agreements made by the governing parties SPD, Greens and FDP in the coalition agreement,” the BDSI wrote in a press release.
According to the association, food advertising is already extensively regulated by law in Germany, and further advertising bans would have a significant impact on the food industry, including affecting product innovations in the food sector.
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