Marmite gets corgis on board to launch “Ma’amite’ to celebrate Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Marmite has released a limited edition version called Ma’amite, and even gotten her majesty’s famous corgi’s in on the advertising.

Marmite, similar to Vegemite, advertises its product with the tagline “you either love it or you hate it,” which has been changed slightly to "Ma'amite, one either loves it or one hates it," with one corgi seemingly in support of the acquired taste and one not so much in the print advertisement.

In the television ad, things get a bit more obvious, as a corgi sniffs the breakfast waiting at the bedroom door in a palace, and then makes its feelings known with a lift of its leg.

The Ma’amite, named after the Queen, often referred to as “Ma’am,” is just one of the countless ways British companies and stores are celebrating the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Check out the video below. 

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As supermarket power rises, Heinz praises progress

One of the few companies to be openly critical of the supermarket duopoly in Australia, HJ Heinz, has apparently mended fences with Coles and Woolworths.

Amid a climate of fear and bullying behaviour by the major supermarkets, where even a Senate Inquiry is struggling to get companies to speak up, HJ Heinz’ head of Asia-Pacific, Christopher J Warmoth has discussed the improved relationships.

''In the past eight months, we've seen a stabilisation of this business and that comes down to three elements," he said.

“First, we've improved our relationship with the retailers and they have told us that they have noticed our increased ability to bring them real value,'' he said.

These positive comments come after the company’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, Arthur Winkleback told US analysts in August last year that the demise of many Australian companies can be attributed to the supermarket war and said they have created an “inhospitable environment” for manufacturers.

Then in November its executive chairman, chief executive and president, William Johnston, told investors the company has had to overhaul its business strategy in Australia to deal with the supermarket dominance of Coles and Woolworths.

The comments came amid an announcement by Heinz that it would be closing three manufacturing facilities in Australia meaning more than 300 local jobs would go.

But the food giant has since tried to distance itself from those statements, which earlier this year a spokesperson told Food Magazine had been taken out of context.

The Australian food manufacturing sector is struggling to survive the supermarket price wars, which are driving profits up, pushing products off shelves in favour of supermarkets’ private label alternatives and, according to the Transport Workers Union, killing people on the roads.

One in every four grocery items now sold in Australian supermarkets is private label and of those, about one in two is imported.

Staying on the good sides of Coles and Woolworths is a good business plan in itself, as failure to do so can spell the end of a business.

Countless producers and manufactures have shared their struggles with Food Magazine, but refuse to go on the record with their stories for fear that being critical of the major supermarkets would be suicide.

Australia is one of Heinz’s biggest markets, bringing in an estimated $1 billion last year.

In contrast to the comments made and financial hardship experienced by Heinz last year, Warmoth now says the company is doing well.

''Australia has also reduced cost on every front,” he said.

“We have five factories, we closed one and have downsized three.

“We had a record year by far on the supply chain productivity.

''Now we are not where we want to be in Australia, but we've made significant progress and we enter [next financial year] with a much stronger foundation.''

What do you make of the latest comments from Heinz? Do you think they’re sincere?

Junk food ads aimed at children fall 60 per cent

Children are seeing 60 per cent less junk food advertising during their television programs, following suggestions from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) that the practise should be stopped, and calls from health groups to ban ads aimed at those under 12.

In 2009 the AFGC suggested that high sugar, fat and salt (HFSS) foods should not be advertised during television programs aimed at children.

Following the suggestion, however, HFSS advertisements aimed at children did not decrease, but rather in some instances actually increased.

The AFGC maintains this rise was the result of scheduling error, but health groups including the Cancer Council, Parents Jury, Australian Medical Association and the Australian Greens called on the government to step in and ban the practise.

The AFGC said the suggestion to ban cartoons in advertising HFSS foods to children was “unnecessary” last year.

The AFGC has today released figures to support its suggestions, which found the advertising of HFSS foods during children’s programs has fallen to 0.7 per cent between March and May 2011, down 60 per cent from the previous year.

The independent research by the Australian advertising information service Media Monitors was revealed in the RCMI Activity Report 2011, monitored free-to-air television – including digital channels – across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney 24/7 for 92 days.

The figures prove that the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI), which was started in 2009, is working, according to AFGC Acting Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison.

Under the RCMI, 17 leading food manufacturers have committed to no advertise to children under 12, unless the ads are promoting healthy dietary choices and a healthy lifestyle.

 “The latest advertising figures confirm that adverts are not running during TV programs aimed at children,” Annison said.

Annison said the AFGC is pleased the food industry has made decisions to protect children with industry codes.

“Industry looks forward to continuing discussions with Government and public health advocates to ensure the RCMI is aligned with community expectations, remains practical for industry to implement and is successful in supporting better diets and health outcomes for all Australians.”

Calling time on alcohol taxation in Australia


Australia’s approach to alcohol taxation is riddled with inconsistencies:
  • Alcohol is a prime target for taxation. It’s a good source of government revenue 
  • it allows governments to recoup costs for providing services to drinkers (such as accident and emergency care and policing) 
  • it provides a mechanism for drinkers to pay for the harm they impose on others as a consequence of their drinking
  • it helps discourage excessive drinking due to information failure (not all drinkers are aware of all the risks of drinking and some harms are not yet understood) and drinkers’ tendency to discount the long-term harms of alcohol
  • and reduced consumption of alcohol has known public health benefits.

Moreover, a recent Australian review of the evidence clearly showed alcohol taxation is cost-effective.

Given the utility and cost-effectiveness of alcohol taxation, the challenge is to identify an optimally efficient tax system: one that maximises the potential benefits of restrained alcohol consumption for the least amount of cost to those who don’t consume alcohol to excess.

If an economist was asked to design the least efficient alcohol taxation system imaginable, it would more or less approximate the current Australian system.

It would be blatantly unfair to lay the blame for this situation at the feet of any particular Commonwealth government.

The current system is, ahem, a cocktail of mixed methodologies, ideologies, idiosyncrasies and the remnant battle-lines of long-forgotten policy negotiations.

Essentially, alcohol can be taxed as either a fixed amount per volume of alcohol (a fixed rate of tax per standard drink) or as a proportion of the wholesale price.

Australia has both at the same time. Wine is taxed as a proportion of the wholesale price (called the wine equalisation tax), which means the tax applied to cask wine (around 60 cents per litre) is much lower than bottled wine (around $2.60 per litre) because it has a lower wholesale price.

All other types of alcohol products are taxed as a fixed amount per standard drink, although the fixed rate varies, not only between different types of beverages (beer and spirits, for example) but also between different types of containers (such as kegs and stubbies).

In other words, you pay between 5 cents and nearly $1 in tax on your alcohol, depending on whether you buy draught beer, bottled beer, mid or high-strength beer, cheap wine, expensive wine, cider, straight spirits, pre-mixed spirits or brandy.

Although tinkering with the current alcohol tax system is tempting – because it is easier to negotiate amendments than an overhaul – perhaps it is time to draw breath and go for broke: take the lead from Apple’s army of geeks and scrap the current operating system in favour of a new, more efficient one.

What might this look like?

Let’s go back to our definition of optimal efficiency: maximise the benefits (in other words, reduce harms) and minimise the impact on those who don’t drink to excess.

Since alcohol harm is not beverage-specific (drinking too much is drinking too much), the most efficient method is to tax the alcohol, not the beverage type or its price.

That would remove perverse incentives that currently distort drinkers’ choices between beverage types and would optimise the compensation paid by drinkers for increasing risks of harm and government costs, and reducing public health.

Taxing the alcohol content, known as a volumetric tax, requires a decision about the appropriate rate of tax per unit of alcohol and moving to this system will inevitably create winners and losers (essentially wine and beer would be relatively more expensive, while spirits would be relatively cheaper), but the principle is infinitely closer to optimal efficiency than is currently the case.

Our modelling shows a volumetric tax would deliver both significant health gains and increased taxation revenue, compared to the existing taxation system.

However, a volumetric tax is not the only price control mechanism that could sensibly be utilised, for two reasons.

First, although drinkers are sensitive to changes in alcohol prices, they are relatively price inelastic (that is, demand remains relatively strong despite price rises), which means there is a limit to how high the volumetric tax could be set before it unfairly impacts on relatively light drinkers.

Second, there is more than one type of harmful alcohol consumption: drinking too much on average; and drinking too much on one occasion (getting drunk).

Our modelling suggests that in response to a price increase, Australians will increase the number of days on which they do not drink at all (and reduce the number of days on which they only drink a bit) in order to preserve their financial ability to drink more heavily on the weekend.

This suggests some people just like to get drunk, and you can do that quite a few times and still work out that the most financially savvy way to get drunk is to drink the cheapest alcohol.

A volumetric tax would help inhibit such drinking but could be reinforced by complementary pricing controls, such as a minimum retail price (or floor price). Scotland and England have indicated they will introduce this strategy in 2012.

Unlike the current situation, this mix of price control strategies is not attempting to idiosyncratically amend one taxation system: it is a synthesis of two separate and equitable approaches.

A volumetric tax would effectively transfer funds to the government to compensate them for the cost of mopping up the harms from excessive drinking, while a floor price would inhibit the availability of cheap alcohol.

The practical difficulties of negotiating the introduction of a more optimal alcohol tax system are daunting and will require skilled politics, but it is time to untangle the mess.

And it seems fair that researchers advocating for change ought equally be accountable for measuring the impact of a more optimal alcohol tax system.

To paraphrase Dostoevsky: drinkers, politicians and researchers are all responsible for all.

Anthony Shakeshaft is an Associate Professor at National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

 

Josh Byrnes is a research fellow in health economics at Griffith University.

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

Sales of fair trade certified products still rising

Sales of products carrying the Fair Trade Certified logo have increased by almost 40 per cent, as consumers become more informed about work conditions for foreign workers.

Saturday marked the beginning of Fair Trade Fortnight, which aims to bring more awareness to the free trade cause.

Fairtrade Australia New Zealand (Fairtrade ANZ) said the increase in Fair Trade certified products in 2011 represents just over $165 million for the cause, which helps to ensure decent working conditions for employees.

In 2010, over AU$63.8 million in additional Fairtrade Premium payments were made globally to farmers for investment in growing their businesses, improving the quality of product and providing their communities with essential services such as healthcare and education.

Fairtrade ANZ chief executive Stephen Knapp said the growth shows Australian shoppers and businesses continue to believe every choice matters when it comes to giving farmers in developing countries a fair go.

 

“Whether it’s your morning coffee or the products your workplace uses for the office canteen, every choice matters,” Knapp said.

 

“Unlike any other third party certification system, Fairtrade works in partnership with small-scale farmers in developing countries to provide fairer prices, better terms of trade and additional funds for business and community development.

“Making a choice that matters and choosing Fairtrade is now easier than ever for Aussies shoppers with the number of Australian businesses licensed to sell products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark rising by over 13% per cent to 220 and a range of Fairtrade Certified products now readily available on major supermarket shelves across the country,” he said.

Last year a number of large food brands started offering Fairtrade choices to Australian consumers including Starbucks and San Churro, which both now serve 100 per cent Fairtrade Certified espresso in their stores throughout the country.

Fairtrade Certified coffee on the supermarket shelves also continued to grow with brands including Republica, Oxfam, Global Café Direct and Grinders and Marco offering Fairtrade Certified and organic coffees.

“The choice of these businesses to support and offer Fairtrade Certified products is reflective of the continued demand by consumers who more than ever know that every choice matters, even in harder economic times,” Knapp said.

“Even in tough times Aussie shoppers understand the sense and importance of a fair go for all.

“They are continuing to make the choice to buy Fairtrade Certified products because they know they are making a choice that matters – one which makes a real difference to the lives of millions of farmers and their communities in some of the world’s poorest countries,” he said.

 

In October last year , a global poll has revealed  more Australians not only recognise the Fairtrade label, but are also actively looking for it when making purchases.

Of the 17 000 consumers Fairtrade surveyed from 24 different countries, over half said they believed buying certified free trade would help farmers in developing countries.

Over six in ten surveyed said they trust the Fairtrade Label and use it to make decisions.

Do you look for Fairtrade Certified products when shopping or eating out?

Magnum invites you take a simulated bite

In an Australian first, ice cream maker Streets has launched a facial recognition billboard to allow passer-by to simulate biting a Magnum.

The billboards, places in high pedestrian traffic areas in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, instruct people to pretend to bite the picture of the new Magnum Infinity.

A camera inside the billboard recognised the movements and imitates it with a bite out of the ice cream.

Users can even pose for a photo which is instantly uploaded to the Streets Magnum Facebook page.

Joe Peschardt, corporate director of Spinifex Group, the marketing company behind the campaign said the billboard is the first in a series of developments for its revolutionary campaigns.

 “We are very excited to help Magnum launch Australia’s first ever facial recognition billboard,” he said.

“In partnership with JC Decaux, we were able to combine the latest in technology with the art of great storytelling to deliver a highly immersive, unforgettable experience.

“For us this is just the beginning and we’re looking forward to working with Unilever to keep pushing the boundaries of outdoor media.”

Image: Mumbrella

Shocking conditions in poultry industry revealed: report calls for changes

Poultry workers and consumers are being put at risk by increasing demands to produce cheap poultry, according to a new report.

The National Union of Workers (NUW) today released the findings of an investigation into the workplace safety practices in the poultry industry, which found “worrying signs that some of the country’s leading poultry suppliers are sacrificing safety for higher profits.”

The Better Jobs 4 Better Chicken report makes five recommendations for improving safety in the sector, across employment, labelling, housing of animals and food safety.

It says the increasing demand for cheap poultry by supermarkets and fast food chains is creating health problems for consumers.

“While the supermarkets may want Australian consumers to believe they are always buying top quality products, the NUW believes that often they are not,” the report states.

“Woolworths and Wesfarmers have flagged chicken meat as the next battleground in their ‘price war’.

“The pressure to lower costs has been passed on to suppliers, leading them to compete on
labour costs rather than reduce their own profit margins.

“Unscrupulous suppliers are then passing this pressure onto the worker on the production line.”

The companies causing the most problems for the industry are identified in the report as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, while the worst fast food offenders are Nandos, Red Rooster, McDonald’s and KFC.

“The domination of the major supermarkets is having a detrimental impact,” the report states.
“The major purchasers of poultry meat are the supermarkets.

“They purchase around 60% of the chicken meat produced.

“The Australian grocery retail sector is highly concentrated, with only two major competitors; Coles (Wesfarmers) and Woolworths.

“These two companies control 72% of the market, which has resulted in low cost promotions and places pressure on poultry processors to lower the cost they demand for their product.”

Old chicken re-packaged and sold as "free range"

In one case study, the union found workers re-label old chickens returned by supermarkets and send them out again as new products.

One worker told researchers he often packs chickens that have been left lying on dirty floors, which are then sent off to be sold, while others have highlighted the concerning working conditions inside the factories.

“Returned tray packs are turned into kebab or marinade and sent back out,” Poultry worker Erica* says.

“I would never buy chicken from Coles or Aldi because of what I have seen.”

Some student workers report sleeping at processing facilities instead of going home, and Adelaide chicken worker, Sokhom Koey, told how he lost his job because he asked that workers doing 12-hour shifts receive breaks.

He was paid 44 cents for each chicken he deboned and was not allowed time off.

"I have a family and I want to spend more time with my family," Koey said.

"But when I have tried to take time off in the past, I have been told that if I take time off there won’t be a job for me when I come back."

Safety issues not being addressed

A recent site audit completed by NUW offi cials indicates that 20% of workers in processing are engaged through non-standard means of employment, including cash-in-hand work, sham contracting and unethical employment, the report says.

“I asked the contractor many times to be paid at the legal minimum but she said there wasn’t enough money,” Harpreet Sing, a contractor at a poultry facility in Melbourne says.

The report also provides details on accidents and deaths in poultry processing plants, as workers are often asked to clean machinery they don’t ordinarily work with.

“Baiada Poultry is not the only company to be fi ned for a death in a poultry processing plant in recent years,” the report says.

“In 2003 Ingham Enterprises was fined $20,000 for the 2001 death of 37-year-old Stirling Gerard Comey. Comey, a contract truck driver was working at Ingham’s Somerville plant when a faulty brake caused him to be crushed and killed.

“WorkSafe Victoria found Ingham’s processes were unsafe because people and trucks were not separated before and during loading and unloading.

“Once again a death occurred when an indirect employment relationship was involved.

“In December 2005, Baiada Poultry was also convicted and fined $100,000 for safety failings which led to the death of St Albans contractor, Mario Azzopardi.”

The NUW has recommended a ban on using contractors in the poultry industry, as well as the introduction of a code of conduct for workers.

To help further reduce the level of illegal contract work in the industry, the NUW also wants changes to student visa working hours and to the Migration Act.

Ingham’s commended for ethical and safe practices 

But amid the shocking stories of possible food contamination and workers safety, one company was highlighted for its commitment to safety and quality.

Ingham Enterprises is highlighted in the report as a good operator with a direct employment model, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination of raw poultry in its processing facilities.

"Ingham Enterprises is a profitable company that respects its workers and helps them find roles to suit their skills and needs," the report says.

Image: NUW Report.

Pizza at your door literally at the push of a button

Did you think it was pretty cool when pizza chains allowed you to jump online to order pizza, and save you the trouble of having to pick up your phone or, heaven forbid, go into a pizza shop? Well hold onto your couch cushion, because things just got lazier.

Desperately need pizza after a big night out, but can’t quite remember how to work a computer, or hold a conversation? Well, stumble on over to your fridge and push the emergency pizza button, and collapse onto the couch and await the arrival of the delivery guy. Maybe drink some water while you wait, rehydration and all that.

Maybe you’re just feeling particularly lazy and the only strength you can muster is pushing a button?

This is pizza delivered to your door, literally at the push of a button. The future is here, but unfortunately, for now, only Dubai has gotten there.

Check out the inspiring advertisement below, you’re beliefs about pizza will never be the same again.

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UK bakery fighting “fat tax”

The “fat tax” imposed on foods high in saturated fat is being fought by the biggest bakery chain in Britain, who say taxing the sausage rolls and pasties it bakes in store is unfair.

Greggs bakery will take the Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to impose the Value Added Tax (VAT) on its hot products to court in the next six weeks.

The bakery chain, which has 1500 stores across the UK, has lost £30 million value in its shared after being reclassified as hot food.

Hot food is subject to the VAT, while cold food is not, and chief executive Ken McMeikan told Sky News the change is unreasonable.

“The consumer needs help in making their money go as far possible, not to see an increased tax on something they didn’t have to pay tax on previously,” he said.

Osborne released his Budget last week, which included changes to certain loopholes which allowed some foods to be exempt from the tax.

“At present soft drinks and sports drinks are charged VAT, sports nutrition drinks are not,” he said.

‘Hot takeaway food on high streets has been charged VAT for more than 20 years, but some new hot takeaway products in supermarkets are not.’

Greggs argument is that while it bakes its sausage rolls in-store, it does not make any effort to keep them warm once they’re removed, so they should not be classified as hot food.

McMeikan argues the changes were made without consultation with businesses, and he will meet with government representatives next week to discuss the issues.

‘We will be fighting this all the way,’ he said.

‘At a time when the consumer is under enormous pressure and at a torrid time for the high street, this felt like a tax measure that has been ill thought through and the timing could not be worse.’

It’s no wonder Greggs is planning to argue the tax on its ‘hot foods,’ as the company sells two million sausage rolls alone every week.

Greggs and the National Association of Master Bakers, who have collaborated to launch a legal bid against the decision, will have six weeks to take the matter to court.

When the “fat tax,” was first implemented in Denmark in October last year, Prime Minister David Cameron.announced that the UK was considering introducing a similar measure.

It has also been suggested as a possible way to improve health and nutrition in Australia, among other countries.

Some Australian doctors also want warning labels on energy drinks, while a US study found a tax on sugary drinks could save 26 000 lives per year.

New alcohol board unnecessary: Brewers Association

The leading representative body for Australian manufacturing brewers has slammed a new industry group, which it says will create public confusion redirect funds away from established organisations.

The Brewers Association of Australia and new Zealand says the newly formed Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB), is an “unnecessary white elephant” that will take funding away from organisations and initiatives which aim to stop alcohol misuse.

The AARB was developed by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and Cancer Council WA and has the backing from various organisations.

But the Brewers Association believes the AARB, which was launched last Friday, is unnecessary.

“Australia already has a robust self-regulatory, government-recognised, model for alcohol advertising, naming and packaging through the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC),” Brewers Association CEO, Mrs Denita Wawn said in a statement.

“ABAC provides an independent pre-vetting service and independent complaints adjudication process.

“It is funded through a levy paid by signatories to the Code including the Brewers Association.

“Unlike AARB, the ABAC Scheme has signatories to the ABAC Code that represent 90 per cent of alcohol producers in Australia, including members of the Brewers Association. ABAC signatories are obliged to comply with a decision of ABAC.

She said she is not against their goals to reduce alcohol misuse, but that they would have been more successful if they had approached ABAC with a formal plan for improvement.

Steggles defends “free to roam” claims still on products

Steggles chickens are still being advertised as “free to roam” despite the consumer watchdog labelling such claims by the company as misleading and deceptive last year.

In September the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it was taking a number of chicken suppliers to the Federal Court, claiming they wrongly advertised chickens as free range.

According to the ACCC, national Steggles suppliers Baiada Poultry and Barttner Enterprises, La Iconica suppliers, Turi Foods and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation were misleading or deceptive in the promotion and supply of chicken products.

The ACCC said the impression that Steggles chickens are raised in barns with plenty of room to roam freely used in the advertisement and promotion greatly influence consumers, and in reality, most of the animals have a space no larger than an A4 sheet of paper.

Despite La Ionica’s decision to stop using the “free to roam” claim and pay the $100 000 penalty as a result of the court case, Steggles and Baiada are refusing to bow to pressure and are instead arguing against the ACCC’s claims.

John Camilleri, the managing director of Steggles’ owner Baiada Poultry yesterday told the Federal Court in Melbourne that he ordered the slogan ”free to roam in large barns” be removed from chicken packaging in August last year.

He said the differing rates at which products are stored and sold makes it impossible to eradicate any reference to “free to roam” claims overnight, and his objective is to have “hardly any” chicken with the slogan for sale by the end of April this year.

”What we don’t have control of is any stock that’s in obscure locations,” he said.

”Some of these products have a shelf life of 18 months.”

He said Baiada limits the density of chickens in its sheds to 36 kilograms per square metre, although the limit set by national poultry rearing regulations is 40 kilograms per square metre.

During the case, Camilleri vocalised what many in the industry already know about the storage and distribution protocol of the major supermarkets.

The ACCC’s counsel, Colin Golvan, SC, asked him to explain why a frozen chicken bought by a representative of the regulator last month in the Melbourne CBS still had “free to roam” on the packaging.

Camilleri explained that the product had old packaging, because ”God knows how long Coles have been storing that or where it’s been stored.”

The trial is continuing.

Beer, dating ads targeted at young girls on game website

The Bratz Doll website has copped criticism from health experts, who are outraged over advertisements for alcohol, energy drinks, junk food and dating services on the site targeted at young girls.

The website, which also offers Snow White and My Little Pony games, automatically plays 30 second ads prior to the games starting.

Everything from Crown Lager to Mars Bars are advertised on the website, Red Bull is even selling its products with a cartoon featuring a cartoon of Little Red Riding Hood.

Earlier this year health experts were calling for warning labels to be mandatory on energy drink packaging, with the rate of calls to health hotlines increasing as a result of the drinks.

Teenage males were to most common callers to the centres, reporting tremors, heart palpitations and inability to sleep after consuming energy drinks.

With the rates of obesity rising, and the associated conditions becoming more well known, there have been calls from health organisations, doctor groups and even political parties to have any advertising of junk food in children’s programs on TV and online stopped.

Cancer Council of WA policy officer Rebecca Johnson told The West Australian it is almost impossible to stop the advertisements because despite suggestions from health groups that companies should stop advertising junk to children, the regulations are not strong enough to do anything.

A complaint made to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code complaints panel about a Crown Lager advertisement that appeared on the Bratz website has been dismissed, she said.

Foster’s said a "technical error" caused its beer to be advertised on the website.

There is also not any recourse for the Red Bull advertisements because the code does not cover online ads.

McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth director Mike Daube said the placement of the ads on a site accessed by girls as young as three was completely inappropriate.

"It shows the outrageous lack of control over websites, and the alcohol promotion is completely inexcusable," Daube said.

"We’re seeing beer advertising to toddlers which shows the voluntary system is a complete sham."

He has written to Federal Mental Health Minister Mark Butler and other politicians calling for laws to control advertising on children’s websites.

Do you think we need government legislation to stop advertisers aiming these products at children?

Third of Auspack Plus floorspace already snapped up

The packaging and processing industry is alive and well, with the news that a third of the floor space for the largest biennial exhibition in Australia has already been sold, even though it won’t be held until 2013.

Auspack Plus organisers opened up entry for exhibitors only three months ago, and already 1900 square metres of available space as been snapped up.

Event manager Luke Kasprzak said the exhibition will allow those in the sector to stay on top of new developments and technology.

“Auspack Plus is the largest biennial packaging and processing machinery and materials exhibition in Australia and is a recognised vehicle to showcase ‘What’s NEW’ in manufacturing and packaging technology,” he said.

“We have already had a significant sign up for stands from companies that include HMPS, JL Lennard, ABB Australia, Accuweigh, insignia, ERC Packaging, Heat & Control, Fibre King, KHS Pacific, Kiel Industries, Linco Food Systems, Propac Industrial, Nordson Australia, Walls Machinery, Matthews Intelligent Solutions, TNA Australia, Fallsdell Machinery, Contract Packaging Systems and RML Engineering,“

Auspack Plus 2013 will be held at the Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park from 7-10 May 2013.

To attend Auspack Plus, or to exhibit there, contact Luke Kasprzak.

Coke announces last 50 names to be printed on bottles

After much anticipation – and many, many comments asking for specific names – Coca-cola has released the last 50 names it will be printing on bottles.

The ‘Share A Coke’ campaign, where the company originally printed the 150 most popular names on Coke bottles, experienced unprecedented success across Australia, which inspired the company to not only extend it through Christmas, but also to use social media to decide on an additional 50 names.

Coca-Cola Amatil says the latest extension, which asked consumers to vote for the names they wanted printed via its Facebook page, is “definitely the end.”

The result will see names including Phil, Suz, Wolfgang, Summer and Siobhan and Eden printed on Coke bottles.

“We were blown away when we received more than sixty five thousand nominations and stories from people all over Australia in under a week,” said Lucie Austin, marketing director, Coca-Cola South Pacific.

“The campaign has elicited such a positive response from consumers and we are thrilled to now announce the 50 new names that Aussies have selected to appear on Coke bottles.”

Image: Facebook "Share a Coke"

Jim Beam descendant follows through on Facebook tattoo promise

The great grandson of Jim Beam, the man who created the iconic drink, promised he would get the brand permanently inked on him if fans of the Facebook sites reached one million, and this week, they reached the target.

Fred Noe made the pledge on the bourbon brand’s Facebook page earlier this year and this week, after the one millionth “like,” he followed through.

The Jim Bourbon business was rebuilt following the end if probation in 1933.

Fred, also known as Frederick Booker Noe III is a seventh generation master distiller and was born and raised in the Bourbon Capital of the World: Bardstown, Kentucky.

Are you one of one million Kim Beam Facebook fans? More importantly, have you “liked” Food Magazine’s page yet?

You can do so here, and who knows, if we reach that number, someone here might do something just as silly as Fred Noe!

 

Kelloggs heads off Fame and Shame awards

Cereal manufacturers giant Kellogg’s has hoped to head off criticism of its marketing practices in the lead up to the Parents’ Jury Fame & Shame Awards.

The Fame and Shame awards are run by a Melbourne based parents group who say that The Awards give parents an opportunity to have their say – for or against – various strategies used by food manufacturers and marketers to promote their products to children

In a statement (below), the cereal giant, is at pains to point out that many of the claims on the Parents Jury website are unwarranted, but did little to address the calls for cartoon characters to be banned on sugary cereals

The company further noting it has significantly changed its marketing practices over the past 20 years in a video advertisement (below).

What do you think?  Is the Parents Jury being unfair to Kelloggs? Or are cereal manufacturers still dragging their feet on marketing to children

 

The full statement is below:

“At Kellogg’s, our loyal shoppers are our top priority and we love to hear feedback and listen to opinions. It’s what has helped us make quality breakfast cereals and snacks for over 80 years in Australia.

 

Listening to our shoppers has also helped us make significant changes to our advertising in the last 10 years as well as improve the nutritional value of our current cereals and create new cereals that answer the desire for more fibre and less salt in the diet.

 

In the coming weeks a Melbourne based group, the Parents’ Jury, will announce the finalists in a competition to name and shame companies it believes are acting improperly in the marketing of their products in Australia. Parents’ Jury is a unique organisation with a voice on various topics – including a push for integrity in advertising and honesty in communication, which we support. However, several items that the Parents’ Jury have produced about Kellogg’s on their website are incorrect.

 

We are sure these items have not been deliberately posted to be deceptive but we believe it is vital we defend our proud 80-year heritage from potentially misleading communications.

 

1. By nominating Coco Pops for a pester power award the Parents’ Jury has used an example of the advertising tagline – Coco Pops and milk make a whole lot of fun – This line has never been used in Australia. We advocate Coco Pops as a treat and it is advertised to parents.

 

2. By nominating LCMs 4D Choc for a pester power award, the Parents’ Jury is suggesting that this product is aimed at toddlers or young children who “pester” their parents into buying it. That’s not the case and the Parents’ Jury themselves point out that the advertisement is teen focussed. LCMs 4D Choc is targeted at the teenage/high school market in exactly the same way many snack and confectionary products are across the country. Only teens feature in the advertising which appears in adult airtime only.

 

3. By nominating Nutri-Grain for a smoke and mirrors award the Parents’ Jury has referenced an advert that has not been used in Australia for six months. In June this year we moved to an advert that gives a transparent appraisal of Nutri-Grain as an energy cereal for active consumers.

 

The Parents’ Jury also describe Nutri-Grain as a cereal for children despite the fact that 60% of the people that buy Nutri-Grain are adults over 18 years old. Again, all advertising appears in adult airtime.

 

We work hard to provide breakfast cereals and snacks for all wants and needs. From high fibre cereals that can be enjoyed everyday to tasty treats that can be enjoyed during the holidays.

 

In 2011 alone, Kellogg’s has engaged with over 4,000 Australian mums to discuss our products and our advertising. The views of the parents we have met do not reflect those of the Parents’ Jury.

Hat tip to Mumbrella  for this story.

 

 

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