We have previously discussed the tendency of the United Kingdom toward "nanny state" legislation. Now, starting in 2023, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is moving to ban junk food advertising online and before 9pm on TV — a move that will not only limit speech rights but undermine broadcasters who rely on such revenue. It is a move reminiscent of the Big Gulp laws of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York as the government moves to protect consumers from themselves. As will come as little surprise to many of this blog, I oppose such moves both as a limitation on speech rights and the freedom of choice.
The ban would be imposed on all paid-for forms of digital marketing, including ads on Facebook, paid-search results on Google, text message promotions, and paid activity on sites such as Instagram and Twitter. It is hard to imagine the government will stop there. These laws (like limitations on free speech) are insatiable. Activists will likely move against sports sponsorships, billboards, and other others of advertising as did tobacco opponents.