Food and drink brand owners have been praised for their responsible advertising but still face the threat of more legislation.

The Advertising Standards Authority's annual report found that the industry had, on the whole, continued to follow regulations governing the advertising of food and drink.

Despite this, the advertising watchdog warned that more rules were likely to be imposed on advertisers in the future.

"Food and drink advertising is still not out of the spotlight and is unlikely to be forgotten about in terms of scrutiny from lobby groups and government," said ASA spokesman Matt Wilson. "There will no doubt be further calls for restrictions on advertising to children and there will always be fires to fight."

However, Wilson said food and drink advertisers appeared to have behaved responsibly over the past year despite generating the fourth highest number of complaints out of 23 categories reviewed.

An ad that showed a man chasing a runaway shopping trolley with a toddler inside only to save a pack of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes was the seventh most complained about ad of the year, although the ASA ruled it was unlikely to cause widespread offence or encourage harm to children.

There were 2,729 complaints against 881 food and drink ads down 2% and 3% respectively compared with last year while complaints were only upheld against 46.

"Forty-six adverts out of the entire sector appears pretty low considering how many food and drink ads there are," Wilson added.

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