‘Super complaint’ aims to stop junk food websites for children

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A CHARITY has launched a “super complaint” to the advertising watchdog about more than 50 websites it claims market junk food to children.

The Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) said it was testing the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) by highlighting firms which it says promote food high in sugars, fat or salt to youngsters.

CFC spokeswoman Kather Hashem said: “The pervasive nature of online junk food marketing to children really leaves us with no choice but to submit this ‘super-complaint’. It is time for the ASA to face the music: Will it or will it not act to protect children from cynical junk food marketing practices?”

The complaint follows a report published jointly by the CFC and the British Heart Foundation in December which highlighted the use of games, cartoons and social networking sites on food and drink websites which it said targeted children. The charity’s complaints have been made in response to the Government’s claim that the current system works.

Ms Hashem added: “This is not just our challenge, but comes from Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, who has expressed his faith in the current self-regulatory system.”

The CFC is calling for new regulations to prevent junk food being promoted to children online.