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Food advertising restrictions will ‘harm hospitality sector’

Trade association UKHospitality has warned that restrictions on food advertising would further “undermine hospitality businesses” already battling against restrictive legislation and rising costs.

The government has today launched a consultation on restricting food advertising proposing a post-watershed and social media ban.

UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “Hospitality shares the government’s objectives and public concerns about nurturing healthier attitudes to food and drink. The sector has worked proactively with local authorities and Westminster to help tackle obesity. Many of our members have spent time and money reformulating menus, diversifying their offer and providing nutritional transparency.

“The sector’s landscape changes quickly, and the customer experience is hugely different to the one it was five or 10 years ago, with a greater choice of exciting and healthy food and drink. Furthermore, for the vast majority of our customers, eating out remains an occasional treat and any measures should reflect that.”

She added: “British high streets have been hit hard in recent years, by a mix of rising costs and changing consumer trends and, of course, Brexit uncertainties. Hospitality venues are vital the social lives of towns and cities and provide huge economic benefits. Preventing them from advertising would undermine high streets further.”

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