Letter: Ad subtraction

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MICHAEL Kelly (“Unhealthy food and drink adverts are killing us”, Perspective, 29 March) aims at the wrong target.

Any product legally manufactured and sold should be freely and honestly advertised, and incidentally sold throughout shop trading hours.

Buying (not drinking) alcohol is currently deemed safe at 10am but dangerous at 9.59am!

Significantly, he talks of “dangerous” foods and drinks: these are surely what should be banned, not the advertising of them. He weakens his argument further by his silly contrast of the “gin-and-tonic” society with those whose quality of life “drives them to comfort food and drink”.

Not all of these are cheap, and in any case people eat mainly what appeals to them; the danger comes more from over-eating. There is a clear case for warnings on containers, such as a sign in red declaring the percentage above a safe level of salt or sugar, but if the product is on sale, people are still free to ignore that.

There is far too much interference with personal choice in life. You report elsewhere that our UK parliament is considering plain packaging for whisky bottles, similar to that proposed for cigarette packets.

What next, then? Blank frontages for the likes of McDonalds?

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road