Charlie Powell, co-ordinator of Sustain, the umbrella group that campaigns for ethical food policies and practices, said: ‘This is the most disappointing White Paper ever – it is a missed opportunity [to improve] children’s health.’
He said ‘we need action now, not in 2007’ – the earliest that legislation on advertising to kids will be considered.
McDonald’s, meanwhile, ‘welcomed’ the White Paper, adding that it was ‘considering’ its proposals. Rival Burger King said it was ‘evaluating’ what it meant for the chain.
Nexus Communications consumer MD Alan Twigg, who has formerly worked with BK and McDonald’s, said: ‘The Government has been lily-livered.’
The buck has now been passed to Ofcom to consider how junk-food marketing to children can be best controlled.