Local Time

Friday, November 24, 2006

Which? slams junk food firms

Read the Which? report

Mark Sweney
Friday November 24, 2006

MediaGuardian.co.uk


Consumer group Which? has launched a scathing attack on the "underhand" marketing tactics used by junk food advertisers, less than a week after Ofcom announced tough restrictions on TV advertising targeting children.
The controversial report, called Food Fables: Exploding Industry Myths on Responsible Food Marketing to Kids, attacks the tactics used by 12 companies including McDonald's, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Kellogg's, KFC and PepsiCo.

The report highlights a wide range of marketing tactics used by these companies, including viral marketing by Coco Pops, Burger King's film tie-ins with Garfield and Spongebob Squarepants, and Cadbury's educational resource packs for schools that encourage a trip to Cadbury World to "find out how Cadbury makes its delicious chocolate bars".

Also criticised are KFC's sponsorship of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV1 and McDonald's for its internet tactics, including sponsoring the MSN Messenger service.

However, the research by Which? has been heavily criticised by industry bodies such as the Food and Drink Federation and the Food Advertising Unit of the Advertising Association, who argue that the attack is completely "unconstructive".

Julian Hunt, the director of communications at the FDF, said: "It's disappointing that rather than work in this spirit of cooperation and partnership, Which? has decided to generate cheap headlines which don't really help to take the debate forward.

Sue Eustace, the director of public affairs at the FAU, said: "The issue of obesity is extremely important and the industry remains committed to playing its part.

"However, the solution requires a partnership approach rather than continuous counter-productive battles in the media."

PepsiCo and KFC were incensed by the report.

A PepsiCo spokesman said: "This report does not accurately reflect PepsiCo's position in a number of ways, principally the fact that PepsiCo does not advertise directly to children under the age of 12.

"Pepsi has signed a self-regulatory code across Europe to this effect, an initiative which was recently welcomed and supported by the European commission." The spokesman also claimed the report contained errors, and that some of the products mentioned in the report as PepsiCo brands did not belong to the company, such as Sugar Puffs and Tango.

He said that Pepsi only promotes its no-sugar brand Pepsi Max in the UK, and that all Pepsi online activity and competitions require the individual to be over 16 years of age. A KFC spokesman said: "KFC GB recently took the decision to end all children's toy promotions, and further to that has not targeted children with its advertising since 2004.

"The Which? report misrepresents KFC's policies and includes factual inaccuracies. For example, KFC has not sponsored Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway since Christmas 2005 and has no plans to do so in the future."

Dictionary

English to Arabic to English Dictionary
Find word:
Exact Word / Starting Word Sub Word
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
www.SearchTruth.com

Please Feel Free to Donate