The U.K. government is cutting its $120 million Change4Life public service campaign in an effort to reduce spending. They’re asking marketers to take on the duty of educating the public about the health-risks of obesity in exchange for limiting new regulations of food marketing. Proposed regulations include a ban on TV advertising of foods high in salt, fat and sugar before 9:00 p.m.
Ad Age reports that the move is part of a larger attempt to cutback on government marketing expenses; the U.K.’s government is the biggest-spending advertiser in the U.K., followed by Procter & Gamble. Although the budget cut my adversely affect advertising agencies, many marketers welcome the promise to limit regulation of food and drink marketing. Some have also been positive about the opportunity to have a voice in the new approach to public heath.
A new initiative, Business4Life, is bringing together major food and drink manufactures, including Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, Tesco, Cadbury and Kraft, to create new marking strategies to promote healthy diets. They have promised the equivalent of $300 million worth of expertise to encourage better nutrition and more exercise. “Business is ready to play its part,” said Ian Barber, the initiative’s leader. “We welcome being seen as part of the solution rather than being constantly castigated as being part of the problem. We are more likely to get the right results if we have a positive role than if we are constantly having mud chucked at us.”