Kellogg’s shamed fourth year running for Australia’s worst junk food ads

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th November 2010

Kellogg’s today received some tough news to swallow as it was named as having one of Australia’s worst junk food marketing campaigns to target children, for the fourth year running.

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Parents from around the country voted the distasteful campaign for LCMs snack bars winner of the ‘Pester Power’ category, in the sixth annual Parents Jury Fame & Shame Awards held in Sydney.

In a further blow to Kellogg’s, parents also crowned the giant food manufacturer’s ads for NutriGrain as the king of ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ advertising, for promoting the sugary cereal as being good for young boys who want to become iron men.

“Year after year we see the same usual suspects ignoring parents’ concerns and peddling their junk food products to children, using highly influential marketing campaigns backed with massive budgets,” Karen Sims, Manager of The Parents Jury said.

Member of The Parents Jury, and mother of two Kathryn Taylor is fed up with her kids being bombarded with ads for unhealthy food. “It’s easy to shift the blame to parents for Australia’s obesity epidemic, but our kids are targets for junk foods ads everywhere they go, whenever they switch on the TV, walk down the street, or surf the internet. It’s not fair that parents are left with the burden of, having to say ‘no’ to everything, all the time,” Kathryn said.

Karen says, “The food industry pats itself on the back for introducing some vague rules on how it will advertise junk food to children, but as any parent would know, there are still huge numbers of ads for junk food during the shows that kids watch, at all hours of the day.

“We cannot trust the food industry to adequately stop advertising unhealthy food to kids, when children are such a lucrative market.

“Preventing childhood obesity and promoting healthy eating habits in our children is complex, but restricting ads for unhealthy foods on TV is just one of many measures that can put in place to create a healthier society to reinforce healthy habits, instead of targeting kids with unhealthy alternatives” she said.

Proving that healthy advertising strikes a chord with parents, the Serve em up veggie promotion by ‘Good for Kids, Good For Life’ was also named as the best food marketing campaign to screen on television during 2010.

The Parents Jury supports a ban on all unhealthy food and drink advertisements on television up until 9pm daily, when large numbers of children are watching television. The Parents Jury also supports government restrictions on other unhealthy food marketing aimed at children, including internet and email marketing, in store and onpack
promotions that target children using cartoon and celebrity endorsement, giveaways and competitions.