Singapore to ban sugary drink ads in fight against diabetes

Wealthy Singapore has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 October 2019

Singapore to ban sugary drink ads in fight against diabetes

  • Certain high-sugar soft drinks and juices also will be required to bear “unhealthy” packaging labels
  • The ban will apply across television, print, billboards and online channels such as social media websites

SINGAPORE: Singapore will ban advertisements of drinks with high sugar content, media reported on Thursday, as the government seeks to tackle diabetes in the city-state.
Certain high-sugar soft drinks and juices also will be required to bear “unhealthy” packaging labels under the measures rolled out over the next four years, Edwin Tong, senior minister of state for health, was quoted as saying by the Straits Times newspaper and broadcaster Channel NewsAsia.
Singapore’s action appears to go further than measures in Mexico, Britain and Canada which restrict when advertisements for high-calorie food and drinks can be shown on television.
The ban will apply across television, print, billboards and online channels such as social media websites.
Wealthy Singapore has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, partly caused by its fast-aging population and a culture of eating out at inexpensive hawker centers.
The health ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


UK retailer Debenhams goes into the red again

Updated 10 April 2020

UK retailer Debenhams goes into the red again

  • Debenhams’ 142 UK stores are closed with Britain in coronavirus lockdown

LONDON: British department store group Debenhams went into administration for the second time in 12 months on Thursday, seeking to protect itself from legal action by creditors during the coronavirus crisis that could have pushed it into liquidation.

With Britain in lockdown during the pandemic, Debenhams’ 142 UK stores are closed, while the majority of its 22,000 workers are being paid under the government’s furlough scheme. It continues to trade online.

The retailer went into administration for a first time in April last year, wiping out equity investors including Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, and is now owned by a lenders consortium called Celine UK NewCo. 

Debenhams said administrators from FRP Advisory would work with the existing management team to get the UK business into a position to re-open and trade from as many stores as possible when restrictions are lifted by the government.

Chief Executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste said that he anticipated the firm’s owners and lenders would make additional funding available to fund the administration period.

However, the group’s business in Ireland looks doomed.

Debenhams said that it expected administrators to appoint a liquidator to the 11-store Irish operation, which employs 2,000.

The moves makes Debenhams the first major retail casualty of the health crisis in Ireland, where the government, as in the UK, has closed all non-essential shops.

Ireland on Monday reported a trebling of its unemployment rate to 16.5 percent with a further surge expected later in the month.

“We are desperately sorry not to be able to keep the Irish business operating but are faced with no alternative option in the current environment,” said Vansteenkiste.