The Advertising Federation of Australia (AFA) has responded to regulatory proposals tabled by the Federal Government’s National Preventative Health Taskforce (PHT).

The AFA expressed concerns that the timing of the proposals would impact employment.

“Our membership and our industry partners are particularly worried that the PHT proposals, if implemented, would also have a severely negative impact on Australian jobs at a time when the fragile recovery of the economy is so crucial,” said Belinda Rowe, national chairman of the AFA.

The AFA pointed to an independent Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) study that determined there was no scientific causal link between advertising and childhood obesity.

Mark Champion, executive director of the AFA, said the AFA was happy to offer the Government support to arrive at a conclusion backed by firm evidence, as the PHT report does not contain that evidence.

“There is no justification for throwing out the code of self-regulation, which the industry has worked very hard to arrive at, before it’s been given any meaningful chance to show that it’s actually faster and more effective in addressing the issues than badly conceived, blanket advertising bans,” Champion said.

The PHT report proposes tough new rules for advertising food on TV and alcohol companies’ sponsorship of sport.