back to article Junk food ads target net

New rules banning TV ads for junk food during programmes aimed at the under-16s will force firms to punt their wares to kids via mobile phones and the internet, the Children's Food Campaign has warned. The new regulations came into force yesterday, and the campaign's Richard Watts claimed that purveyors of unhealthy fare are …


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  1. John Macintyre

    good old firefox

    and adblock :)

  2. Ian Ferguson
    Black Helicopters

    Re: good old firefox

    Ad blocking is only useful at blocking adverts you decide you don't want to see - it's not going to stop your kids playing greaseburger-tetris on the McDonald's website.

    Web ads visible in the UK should be subject to the same rules and regulations that TV and print ads are subject to. And by 'web ads' I include websites in general - as much as everyone likes to think of the internet as a happy carefree land of freedom, it's essentially a big advertising billboard for whoever wants to shout loud enough.

  3. Sam

    Firefox part 2

    ...and Noscript.

    No McAdverts.

  4. adnim

    Firefox part III

    Absolutely! adblock and no script.

    I recently, ran for a day without no script and adblock running, I also allowed pop up windows, just too see what I was missing. I was shocked, I am not joking, I really was shocked. Wall to wall adverts, popups, flash, annoying tunes. It was horrendous. It seems to me that over 50% of content on websites is now advertising garbage in one form or another. I have had adblock and no script running for a long time, I didn't realise that the web had become so heavily infested with advertising.

    The web is approaching ad overload and has become annoying and irritating to use.

    Adblock and NoScript are just as essential for browsing the Internet as the actual browser itself is. I truly feel liberated using these add ons.

  5. Daniel B.

    Oh please

    Could you stop bullhorning Firefox Adblock every single time anything resembling 'ads' comes up? My homebrewed squid acl does a niftier job on that, and I enjoy using Firefox too even if I don't use adblock.

    That said, even adblock+noscript won't prevent your kids playing games on, which seems to be the point here. If anything, those "social network" fads turning into merchandising have found ways to lure kids into getting bombarded by ads in exchange for points.

    Search for something called "nipper". That one sounds fun... someone uploading their pic on that might find him/herself being the new "Dump your pen pal" girl!

  6. Dave

    Firefox + Adblock + Hosts file


  7. adnim

    @Daniel B

    Yes you are right, we are very smug about our ability to block anything we don't like.

    And we do tend to make a lot of noise about it.

    If I had children at home I would adblock the whole of McD's. ie: http://*.mcdonalds.*

    So yes, AdBlock can prevent your kids from even reaching McD's. Although thinking about it, I would block it at my router.

  8. sean

    hosts files rock :)

    (see subject)

    and no it's not an ad!

  9. Ian Ferguson


    While we're talking about advertising, when is El Reg going to wake up and offer an ad-free subscription-based version? I'd happily pay more than what they get out of me from adverts (zero, incidently - I run a javascript script that modifies the CSS of certain websites including the Register to hide all the advertising - sort of a pre-emptive adblock)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who, in the under-four-feet demographic, doesn't already know about McDonald's, et al? I fail to see the point in banning ads for such businesses when virtually every city in the developed world sports multiple McDonald's locations, all of them festooned in the corporate logo.


    "I ate at a 'McDonald's' over in Shelbyville yesterday."

    "Really? Never heard of it."

    "Apparently, they have 3000 locations in this state alone."

    "Must've sprung up over night."

  11. Charles Manning


    "Who, in the under-four-feet demographic, doesn't already know about McDonald's, et al?"

    McDonalds must be wasting their money on all that advertising then!

    For small companies/services, advertising tells the world of your existence. The same is not truee for high profile brands. For McD and Coke, advertising is little short of brainwashing and relies on multiple inputs.

    These companies advertise for one reason only: it works.

    We don't watch TV in our household and don't listen to radio ads. We see billboards and newspaper ads, but these are of little impact as they are designed as "refreshers" and only really work if you see the TV ads. If you cut out TV ads (and interactive web ads), perhaps 90% of the whole ad impact is removed.

  12. Smell My Finger

    Web adverts are very different

    The thing about any non-linear medium is it's fairly easy to get around advertising; even the most intrusive web adverts can be mostly declawed fairly easily if required. The problem is with the linear media, there isn't any practical way to miss TV, film or radio commercials other than switching it off altogether.

    There is no distinction in the qualitative nature of adverts that is reliant on the size of the company - all adverts have essentially the same purpose and arguing anything else is special pleading. Commercial advertising is intrusive by design, whether it's for Coke or Joe Bloggs' Laundry Express, I don't need to be informed that I have a need with a company being ready to fill it.

    But people have conflicting needs; the same people who whinge about the intrusiveness of adverts are the same ones who complain about the cost of the BBC licence fee. You can either pay up front or suffer adverts but you can't have neither. Subscription based services are inherently unfair as they generally only lead to the better off getting access to them and they're commercially risky; if people have to pay for something they'll either take their business to somewhere cheaper or find out they didn't need it in the first place. Only captive markets or de facto monopolies make subscriptions work (see Sky telly, for instance).

    If you think billboard and newspaper/magazine adverts only work in concert with TV you are missing the point that they're often designed to target specific demographics you can't reach with TV. TV isn't as pervasive as people think it is because it's very expensive and with so many channels very hard to target. I think anyone being complacent about the impact of advertising or thinking they're less susceptible to it because they don't watch TV is massively under-estimating how deeply entrenched it is.

  13. Brian


    What the hell does Clint Eastwood flying in a top secret, fly-by-mind, superdupersonic Russian aircraft have to do with blocking ads from McDonald's?

    Granted....firing a couple air-to-ground anti-armor missiles at fast food restaurants could be seen as a way to curtail consumption by the kiddies...but it seems a tad drastic to me.

    And, why use Clint eastwood....or Russian MiGs? I mean I just finished an article stating that Eagle drivers are being retrained to fly drones...couldn't we just employ them to do it with American aircraft rather than just leaning on one septuagenarian actor and a mythical Soviet fighter?

    All so confusing....perhaps I am missing something....

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