Press Centre

Channel 4, ITV and Sky team up in £10m TV campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise for children

Channel 4, ITV and Sky team up In £10m TV campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise for children

ITV, Channel 4 and Sky are set to launch an ambitious health and wellbeing initiative to promote the importance of healthy eating and exercise for kids in a new three-year partnership.

With an airtime investment of £10m, the UK’s leading commercial broadcasters aim to reach 90% of UK children and help tackle children’s obesity by showcasing advertising campaigns such as Eat Them To Defeat Them and The Daily Mile.  The three main TV sales groups will launch multiple major on-air campaigns from January 2020 with the aim of helping 10 million kids lead healthier lives.

Across ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, the broadcasters will build on the success of the Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign, which has previously run solely on ITV, with an ambition to change behaviour in the long-term and across all communities in the UK. The new Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign will launch first, in February 2020.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV said:

“We know that TV has the power to shape culture and change behaviour and nowhere is that more clear or important than with the success and impact of both The Daily Mile and Eat Them to Defeat Them. We’ve been working more widely with Channel 4 and Sky to highlight what TV advertising does to accelerate brands’ growth, and combining the power of our platforms and programmes enables us to make a significant difference to children’s health.”

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive of Channel 4, said:

“Channel 4 has always played an important role in promoting healthy lifestyles to young people through our programming and this is a way to help even more with this vital issue in society. We’re excited to build upon our editorial work with airtime and a powerful TV sales house partnership to continue to inspire and assist young people.”

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & Ireland, Sky, said:

“Sky has a long history of encouraging people of all ages to get involved in sport and live healthy lives, from our Sky Sports Scholars to inspiring millions of people to start cycling through Team Sky. We will further build on this work by partnering with ITV and Channel 4 in this campaign.”

Notes to editors:

ITV, in partnership with INEOS, launched The Daily Mile’s first TV advertising campaign in April 2018 alongside editorial support in ITV programmes. Since ITV began supporting the campaign, which encourages primary school children to get outside and run, jog, walk or move for 15 minutes every day, over 4,500 additional schools have signed up across the UK - a 237% increase on the schools taking part before the TV campaign. Over a million additional school children now take part, up from 423,000 kids before ITV’s involvement and primary school children running the Daily Mile will burn between  an extra 30 and 80 calories per day depending on their age and pace.

The Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign, a partnership with Veg Power and ITV, launched on ITV in February 2019.  Econometric modelling showed a 2.3% uplift in veg sales attributable to the campaign.  That's the equivalent of an extra portion of vegetables a week for every household with kids in the UK. Over 650,000 kids said the ads had made them eat more vegetables.

In the last 10 years, the purchasing of vegetables has fallen and the UK is eating the same amount of vegetables as we did in the 1970s. But it’s amongst children that the problem is particularly acute.  Only 1 in 5 primary school aged children eat the recommended portions of vegetables every day, and only 5% of children aged 11-16 years. 

In terms of activity, the picture is poor too.  Less than a quarter of children are meeting the recommendation guidelines of 60 minutes of activity a day.  And the situation is getting worse with activity levels lower than they were 10 years ago.  

For further information

Laura Wootton, ITV
Laura.wootton@itv.com

Victoria Gillespie, Channel 4
vgillespie@channel4.co.uk

Jack Bates, Sky
Jack.Bates@sky.uk