Food and drink manufacturers can breathe a sigh of relief as plans to criminalise the use of pester power in marketing to kids have been shelved.
The Department of Trade and Industry this week kicked off its consultation into the implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, in which it has grouped pester power marketing with fraudulent selling techniques, all classed as aggressive commercial practices.
That would have meant that directors of companies such as PepsiCo, which uses Gary Lineker in its Walkers ads, could have faced prosecution if found in breach of the new rules. However, although the DTI is inviting stakeholders’ views on the imposition of criminal penalties on companies found using such practices, it has now made a provision for advertisers, indicating its intent to exclude them from the harsh new rules.
“We want to discuss the merits of criminal sanctions for aggressive practices,” said Peter Deft, senior policy advisor for the DTI. “But we