Media owners and advertising agencies look set to reject the Food Standards Agency's Nutrient Profiling Model next week, when they discuss how they will apply new rules governing advertising food to children in the non-broadcast arena.
Last month Ofcom announced it was banning TV advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children under 16.
The Committee of Advertising Practice's non-broadcast arm will meet on 14 March to scrutinise the new regulations. One insider has told The Grocer that it has no intention of adopting the controversial Nutrient Profiling Model.
"It's flawed and we won't accept it," the source said. Because non-broadcast media is entirely self-regulating it cannot be forced to follow the rules for TV advertising campaigns to the letter.
The Grocer has learned that CAP members instead want to apply content restrictions to all food and drink products, except fresh fruit and vegetables. This will mean that brands will not be able to use licensed cartoon characters, celebrities or promotional giveaways appealing to children in press, poster or cinema advertising.
However, this rejection of the Nutrient Profiling Model is likely to infuriate the FSA.
The Grocer's source said the agency could push for a public consultation if it believed CAP members were trying to shirk their duty, but added:"We don't believe there is time or a good enough reason for a public consultation because the only thing we're rejecting is nutrient profiling, and there's no way the government can force it on us short of an implosion of self-regulation."
The CAP code is scheduled to come into force at the same time as the Ofcom rules in July. A CAP spokesman said the meeting next week could be first of several before non-broadcast rules were set out.
Weigh it Up p36