Forum withdraws junk food threat

Mathew Little

The National Heart Forum has dropped a threat to take Ofcom to court over a consultation on TV junk food adverts.

The forum, a coalition that includes charities such as the British Heart Foundation, was planning to ask for a judicial review to force the media regulator to consult on banning the broadcasting of such adverts before the 9pm television watershed.

But it has now withdrawn the threat, saying Ofcom has added the proposal to its consultation, which ends on Friday.

However, the regulator claims the pre-watershed ban would be "disproportionate" and has denied including the proposal in its consultation. A spokesman for Ofcom said the consultation instead asks respondents whether they agree that the measure would be disproportionate.

Jane Landon, chief executive of the National Heart Forum, said: "The consultation is now clearly different. It's extraordinary that Ofcom is maintaining that nothing has changed."

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