Radio advertisers have snubbed the Food Standards Agency's Nutrient Profiling Model and introduced their own measures to control advertising of food and drink to children.
The Committee of Advertising Practice said the FSA model, which underpins Ofcom's restrictions on TV ads, had "serious flaws" and "was not appropriate for radio". Instead, it had decided to give companies "strict, consistent and sound" principles to abide by.
Most of the new restrictions devised by the self-regulation body for advertisers cover children up to the age of 16 - though some tougher restrictions will cover pre- and primary schoolchildren. Ads aimed at these age groups should no longer feature celebrities, licensed characters or promotions, or make any health or nutrition claims, although ads for fresh fruit and veg are exempt, said CAP.
It added that no ads aimed at children should suggest sweets and snacks can be eaten as a substitute for balanced meals or encourage over-eating. Neither should they encourage children to consume a product only to take advantage of a promotional offer.
The FSA's Nutrient Profiling Model did not take account of the importance of a balanced diet or consider the vitamin and mineral content of a product, said CAP. It also demonised many nutritious products, such as cheese, raisins and breakfast cereals - a fact highlighted by The Grocer's Weigh It Up! campaign, which is calling for the FSA and Ofcom to scrap the model.
"The advertising industry has demonstrated its commitment to playing its part in tackling childhood obesity through the formulation of stringent advertising rules," said CAP chairman Andrew Brown.
The new rules for radio, were effective from 17 September, although food and drink companies with campaigns already in development will have until 16 December to comply. The restrictions for radio mirror those introduced in April by CAP for non-broadcast advertising.