KFC and Kellogg’s adverts banned after firms targeted children

The brands both broke rules around promoting products high in fat, salt or sugar to children

Caitlin Morrison
Wednesday 08 August 2018 08:20
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Banned Coco Pops advert for chocolate granola product

KFC and Kellogg’s have both had adverts banned by the watchdog after complaints that the firms were targeting children with marketing campaigns.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an ad for KFC’s Mars Krushems drink which appeared on a telephone box a short distance from the entrance to a primary school, for breaking rules around the promotion of products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).

Under advertising rules, HFSS product ads must not be directed at children through the selection of the media or context in which they appear, and no medium should be used to promote HFSS products if more than 25 per cent of its audience is under the age of 16.

The Obesity Health Alliance challenged the ad on the grounds that it was directed at children.

KFC said the advert was mistakenly placed within 100 metres of the school, and apologised for the placement, blaming human error.

The ASA said it was taking action as it was “highly likely” that the ad’s location meant that children under 16 made up “significantly more than 25 per cent of the audience of the ad”.

Meanwhile, an ad for Kellogg’s Coco Pops Granola, which was shown between episodes of the children’s programme Mr Bean, has also been banned.

While the granola itself is not HFSS, the ASA said: “Taken as a whole, we considered that the Coco Pops branding was significantly more prominent than the references to the granola product, and that therefore the focus of the ad was on the Coco Pops branding rather than specifically on the granola product.

“In that context, because we considered that the Coco Pops branding was synonymous with Coco Pops original cereal and with the Coco Pops range we concluded the ad had the effect of promoting an HFSS product and HFSS product range through the use of branding.”

The watchdog also said that the ad breached its rules because it was shown during a section of programming specifically commissioned for and principally direct at children under 16.

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