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April 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Proposed government guidelines that would allow food marketers to advertise only foods that provide children with a “meaningful contribution to a healthful diet” were challenged Thursday by the advertising industry. “If companies were to comply with these proposals, the restrictions are sufficiently onerous that they would basically block a substantial amount of advertising,” Dan Jaffe, exec VP-government relations for the Association of National Advertisers, told Advertising Age. The guidelines — they are not mandatory — were drawn up by the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, set up by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Agriculture. In a formal response, the ANA said, “Despite calling these proposals ‘voluntary,’ the government clearly is trying to place major pressure on the food, beverage and restaurant industries on what can and cannot be advertised.” The recommendations limit the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in foods advertised to children aged 2-17. But Jaffe rejected any proposal that would limit ads for foods marketed to teenagers. “Once you’ve gotten past 12, we believe kids are fully able to understand advertising and to deal with it,” he told Ad Age.