Kellogg’s awarded ‘hat trick of shame’ in kids advertising

Cereal giant Kellogg’s has been given the ‘hat trick of shame’ for the worst marketing campaign by health advocate group the Parents Jury.

The Parents Jury says it is becoming a “tradition” for Kellogg’s to be named in the awards, this year for having two of the worst junk food marketing campaigns.

The Parents Jury’s Smoke and Mirrors Award identifies the advertisement that is most misleading about health, with Nutri-Grain taking out the award for the fifth year in a row.

Nurti-Grain promotes itself as a good option for young men aspiring to be Iron Men, when in fact, it is loaded with sugar and simple carbohydrates.

For it’s second win – or loss – Kellogg’s was awarded the Pester Power Award for its LCM 4D Choc Bar.

A study out of the US found nagging by children for food products increased dramatically when cartoon figures were used in advertisements, even if the child did not like the food itself.

The Parents’ Jury Manager Corrina Langelaan believes parents are sick of marketing techniques in the food industry that make it difficult to ensure children are eating right.

“The industry may be getting smarter about getting around its self-regulatory code, but parents tell us they are fed up with unhealthy food advertisements being shown during their kids’ favourite programmes,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate the same names keep producing well-funded advertising campaigns, influencing kids of all ages.

Earlier this year, the Australian Food and Grocery Council told junk food advertisers they should avoid directing their products at children, but there has been no decrease in the number of advertisements.

“With one in four Australian children considered to be overweight or obese, it’s no longer enough to simply tell parents to say no,” Langelaan said.

“We as a society have to take a stand and tell the industry its codes are not good enough.”

The Parents Jury identified ‘”another repeat offender,” McDonald’s for its use of cricketer Shane Warne in advertising its Chicken McBites.

The burger giant, who in August refused to join fellow fast food retailer KFC in banning toys with kids meals, was awarded the Bad Sport Award for the decision to use Warne.

Interestingly, Warne has faced increased media speculation over his rapid weigh loss recently, which some attributed to his relationship with actor Liz Hurley.

Mother of two Natalie Wischer, believes there is no role for junk food branding and advertising in sport.

“Sports and sporting events should be about healthy living, not a showcase for fast food and sugary drinks.

“I am disappointed Shane Warne, who is such a role model to kids like mine, has chosen to be associated with McDonalds.”

While Wischer agrees it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children are healthy, it is made more difficult with the ever-increasing advertising for readily available junk foods.

“It’s easy to shift the blame to parents for Australia’s obesity epidemic.

“However, our kids are constantly targets for junk foods ads, whenever they switch on the TV, walk down the street, surf the internet, or even go out to play sport!

“It’s tough for parents.

“I believe in treats in moderation, but we’re still the ones that have to battle daily with our kids, who are sucked in by the marketing hype.

“It makes me feel like the food industry is undermining the choices I want to make for my family.”

The Parents Jury is again calling for a ban on advertising junk foods, which has also been recommended recently by the Cancer Council and the Australian Medical Association.

Restricting advertisements for unhealthy food is necessary,” Corrina Langelaan from The Parents’ Jury said.

“On its own, this won’t reverse the high levels of childhood obesity. However, it is a solid move to help create a healthier society.

“Parents need a positive environment to reinforce healthy eating habits, instead of constantly battling unhealthy food promotion.”

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has labelled a ban on cartoons in advertising junk food "unnecessary.”

The AFGC says recent independant research shows junk food advertising aimed at children is dowwn and chief executive Kate Carnell said the Parents Jury were "clutchung at straws," with the awards because they could not find advertisements directly aimed at children.

Rather, she says, the advertisements are aimed at teenagers.

There was some positive news to come out of the Parents Jury Awards, with the McCain’s school veggie patches campaign winning the Parents’ Choice Award for its programme to encourage schools to develop their own veggie gardens.



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