Sugar-coated marketing that's good for the kids, profits too
Avid Bitterwallet reader Tom isn't a happy man, but that's probably because he went without breakfast this morning:
Don't know if you spotted this advert blatantly trying to encourage kids to eat an unhealthy cereal after school, despite the fact they probably would have had something similar for breakfast. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) aren't concerned and are just hiding behind a wall of figures and statistics provided by Kellogg's. Despite the fact they claim that the cereal is low in fat, it does not distract from the point they are high in sugar!
It's great to see the Government's money spent advertising healthier lifestyles is well spent and once again big corporations can flatten the whole principle behind it!
It's an old ad, but always worth revisiting, if for no other reason than to comprehend why two primary school children have the inner voices of teenagers. Tom's certainly right in that Kellogg's justification of their position to the ASA has the grace of the Mariinsky Ballet, littered with objective statements presented as facts ("Kellogg's said snacking was a common practice and suitable snacking should be encouraged as part of good dietary practice").
First it argues that Coco Pops is a more healthy after-school alternative to biscuits, crisps and sweets, but it then goes on to argue it's healthier than yoghurt and fruit because of the sugar content. Reading through, it's a wonder a bowl of Coco Pops doesn't gift children with the power of unaided flight. Bravo, Kellogg's!
They said the recommended serving size of 30g for Coco Pops was a true volume that they knew people ate. They said the amount of sugar in one serving of Coco Pops was just 10g, which was less than two teaspoons. They pointed out that a banana contained 17g of sugar, a fruit yoghurt 20g and toast with jam 13g.
Of course, such bullshit-baffles-brains conveniently ignores other facts. For example, "just 10g" of a 30g serving means a third of a bowl of Coco Pops is pure sugar. The average unladen weight of a banana is around 100g, meaning the sugar content is less than a fifth of its volume. Oh, and it's a banana - you know, fruit - the stuff that it's ok to encourage kids to eat as an alternative to chocolate?
Ultimately the ASA swallowed the lot, seemingly happy that children should be encouraged to eat more cereal. Of course kids snack but that doesn't mean they should, of course kids would like to eat chocolate-laced cereal instead, but that doesn't mean it should be encouraged to. And as The Food Commission points out, take all the air out of a bowl of Coco Pops, and the result looks suspiciously like a chocolate cookie.
Still, at least the kids are dictating their own diet with the full backing of a multi-national corporation only concerned with their health and well being. It's just happy coincidence that two children eating an extra 30g serving five days a week adds up to an extra sale of a 600g box of Coco Pops every fortnight. I'm sure the maths hasn't crossed anyone's minds at Kellogg's.