Advertising food and soft drinks to children raises complex issues. It is important that responsible advertisers are able to have a clear voice in the public and regulatory debates.  ISBA is that voice. 

Advertisers of food and soft drink are very well aware of the public interest surrounding their messaging. ISBA's emphasis on responsible advertising and our support for self-regulation and the CAP and BCAP codes underlines our work.

How we work 

Our food and soft drinks members come together in our Food and Drink Advertisers working group to tackle specific issues.  It is this group that is the advertiser's starting point for any rule changes that eventually arrive at CAP and BCAP. ISBA is the advertiser’s voice on both committees of advertising practice as well as key members of the ICC Advertising & Marketing Commission – the owners of the global ad codes. The AA based Food Advertising Unit (FAU) brings together advertisers, media and agencies.

We work closely with the Food & Drink Federation and the British Soft Drinks Association on all issues but especially on food content and labelling issues where they naturally take the lead.

EU and global issues are the focus of ISBA’s membership and active involvement in the World Federation of Advertisers and the ICC.  Through them contact is maintained with the EU institutions and the WHO.


ISBA supported Government Responsibility Deals and Business4Life. We remain open to collaborative work with government and with health and other groups. Advertising is not the main cause of the growing problems of overweight and obesity, but can play a significant role in tackling the causes.

The issues around food and obesity are serious for society; advertisers are keen to play their part. Members keep the current codes under review and help revise and amend the rules; in 2015 ISBA asked CAP to review the food advertising rules and assess the practicality of adopting the Broadcast code use of nutrient profiling and more restrictive rules for HFSS products.  A CAP consultation paper was published in May 2016; the new rules were announced in December 2016 and come into force on 1st July 2017.  As a result of ISBA guidance the TV ban on advertising HFSS foods and drinks to children will apply to all media - from posters to newsprint to the whole digital environment.