McDonald’s, Kellogg’s and PepsiCo slammed at the Fame and Shame Awards 2019

| December 2, 2019

Australian parents have given several unhealthy food manufacturers the red card as part of the Parent’s Voice Fame and Shame Awards. Now in its 15thyear, the annual awards highlight the worst of unhealthy food marketing and celebrate those promoting a healthy lifestyle to kids.

Kellogg’s continues to target children with their highly processed unhealthy options, claiming the Pester Power shame category in this year’s awards, narrowly beating Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Kellogg’s limited-edition Froot Loop packaging features child-centric cartoon characters including mermaids, unicorns and baby sharks. A recipe for disaster for Aussie kids. 

“The processed food industry knows that children are attracted to products with bright colours and cartoon characters on the pack,” said Alice Pryor, Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager. “As parents we’re only too aware that young children believe that processed food tastes better if there’s cartoon characters on the packaging.  Parents and kids should be free to shop without being targeted by these marketing techniques.

“Other countries, like Chile, have removed cartoon characters from unhealthy processed products. In Australia, food packaging is not covered by the self-regulated industry advertising standards. This has got to change.”

Cereal offender Kellogg’s also received their eighth Smoke and Mirrors shaming for their LCMs ad, ‘Light Up Their Afternoons’. The ad mentioned the puffed rice but unsurprisingly failed to mention LCMs dismal Health Star Rating (0.5 to 2) and that some bars contain a whopping 35 per cent sugar – a fact that’s hard to swallow for most Aussie parents.

PepsiCo and their Spiderman billboards for Doritos received a shaming in the Bother Boards category for their billboard at the Town Hall Station in Sydney. The ad, which is located in one of the city’s busiest stations, bombards kids with unhealthy food advertising while they’re out and about.

Nicole French, a parent member of Parents’ Voice, said: “This advertising campaign shows why parents want governments to remove unhealthy food marketing from public assets, like train stations. Parents can’t be with their kids every minute of the day. We want our children to be able to enjoy exploring the world free from unhealthy food marketing.”

McDonald’s were sent to the naughty corner in the Digital Ninja category, winning first and second place for their Happy Meal social media ads and their Happy Studio App.

Bianca Caputi, Parents’ Voice Chair, said: “The nominees span mobile games, augmented reality and social media advertising, demonstrating the sneaky techniques that unhealthy food companies use to reach kids. These companies put profits ahead of our kids’ health.”

The ‘Macca’s on your team’ promotion also got a rap on the knuckles in the Foul Sport category for their ads featuring children chanting and dressed head to toe in McDonald’s branding.

Ms Pryor said: “Unhealthy food marketing dominates our sporting venues. This campaign shows how far the unhealthy food industry will go to influence our children. It’s unethical to target children via junior sporting clubs. Australian parents have had enough.”

It was not all bad news at the Fame and Shame Awards with two ‘fame’ awards given to companies promoting healthy foods and active lifestyles to kids. The Parents’ Choice – Physical Activity award was presented to Netball Australia for their ‘Team Girls’ campaign.

Dr Sandro Demaio, VicHealth CEO congratulated Netball Australia: “Netball Australia has a proud history of taking up the charge to get more women and girls moving. This ad encourages young women to overcome limitations and be more active.

Ms Pryor said, “ALDI just pipped Qukes, mangoes, and eggs at the post to take out the Parents’ Choice – Food category. We know that only 6.3 per cent of Australian children consume the recommended serving of vegetables each day. These ads provide support and reinforcement of the messages parents are providing at home.”

“This is the fourth year that we’ve had enough nominations to have two fame categories. Unfortunately, the shame awards still dominate. The link between unhealthy food marketing to children and 1 in 4 Australian children being above a healthy weight is clear. The Government needs to set higher regulatory standards for the packaging and marketing of food products to protect Aussie kids. It’s time we put our children’s health before profits.”

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