HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 cc450-1
27. Mr. Cronin

asked the Postmaster-General, in view of the adverse report of the Medical Panel of the Advertising Inquiry Committee on Press and Television Advertising on the advertisements on television of medical preparations and such items as toothpaste and slimming courses, what consultations have taken place under Section 4 (5) of the Television Act, 1954, between the Independent Television Authority and himself regarding such advertisements.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Ernest Marples)

Consultations take place from time to time with the Authority about classes of goods and services which must not be advertised and methods of advertising which must not be employed. I agreed in March last an amendment to the rules about products or treatments for slimming. The report referred to by the hon. Member makes no specific criticism of contravention of television advertisement rules or of the rules them-selves.

Mr. Cronin

Is there not some evidence that some television viewers are being seriously imposed upon by some television advertisements? Has not the right hon. Gentleman adequate powers under the Television Act to put a stop to it?

Mr. Marples

If the hon. Member thinks that any specific advertisement falls within the category of his supplementary question, I should be grateful if he would tell me what it is, and I will look into it.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Is not some of the trouble due to the fact that the meetings of the medical panel and the full committee are so infrequent that the decisions of the medical panel are sometimes not considered until months after they have been taken? In this difficult matter of determining whether claims are false or otherwise, ought not the machinery to be speeded up?

Mr. Marples

I do not think so. If any hon. Member puts forward a complaint to me it will be looked into straight away.