Health campaigners have launched a co-ordinated bid to force companies to take down online advertising they believe is promoting junk food to youngsters.

The Children’s Food Campaign has filed a so-called ‘super-complaint’ with the Advertising Standards Authority, comprising 54 separate complaints.  It accuses a raft of food companies whose websites allegedly promote products classified as high in sugars, fat or salt to kids.

The move comes after correspondence with culture minister Ed Vaizey, who reportedly encouraged the campaign to complain where advertising rules were broken.

The complaints are drawn from a report published by CFC and the British Heart Foundation in December.

“The pervasive nature of online junk food marketing to children really leaves us with no choice but to submit this super-complaint,” said Kather Hashem of the CFC.

“It’s time for the ASA to face the music: will it or will it not act to protect children from cynical junk food marketing practices?”