Food Fables - the second sitting The truth behind how food companies target children MAKING THE HEALTHY CHOICE THE EASY CHOICE Which? wants to see the healthy choice become the easy choice for UK consumers. Consumers want clear, easy to understand information about what makes a healthy diet, and to be able to distinguish between healthier and less healthy products. They do not want to be conned into buying products that are misleadingly presented as healthy and they don't want to see pressure put on children to choose less healthy foods, making it so much harder for parents to encourage their children to eat well balanced diets. Our research shows that, despite supporting social responsibility, many companies are still putting their efforts into heavily promoting less healthy products whether its through cartoon characters aimed directly at children or the health claims and confusing labelling aimed at reassuring or bamboozling their parents. This isn't good enough. Which? wants to see responsible food companies using their creativity to help their customers to make healthy lifestyle choices. We're not against treats and we aren’t against marketing, but we are against irresponsible company practices and hollow company commitments. We’d love to see the need for regulation erased because all food companies had cleaned up their act. We want to see all food companies using their ingenuity and expertise to develop and market healthier options, supported and prompted by a government that acts on its committment to tackle obesity. WHY MARKETING LESS HEALTHY FOODS TO CHILDREN MUST STOP Diet and Obesity Crisis If current trends continue, it’s predicted that 70 per cent of girls and 55 per cent of boys will be overweight or obese by 2050, and that obesity will cost the economy over £45 billion.1 Poor Quality Choices The Food Standards Agency’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey2 has highlighted that children eat too much fat, sugar and salt and not enough fruit and vegetables. Obesity is the consequence of energy imbalance – too many children are consuming more calories than they use up with exercise. Limiting foods high in fat and sugar, particularly those that are highly processed and contribute little nutritional value, is critical in helping to redress this imbalance and to reduce the incidence of other diet-related disease. ‘Less healthy’ Ads Dominate Which? research3 has highlighted the wide range of promotional techniques that are used to target fatty, sugary and salty foods at children and the scarcity of healthier promotions in comparison. 2 Food Fables-the second sitting Ads Influence Kids Four key reviews4 have all concluded that food advertising and promotion influences children’s food preferences and food choices. Parents Want Change Which? research5 has shown frustration by parents, and public support for more action from government and food companies. In February 2008, a Which? survey found that 88 per cent of consumers think food companies need to be more responsible in the way they market food to children and that 84 per cent of consumers think the government needs to do more to control the way less healthy foods are marketed to children.6 SUMMARY Leading food companies in the UK are still not doing enough to curb their marketing of less healthy food to children. Since our Food Fables report in 2006, stricter TV advertising regulations have come into force but these are failing to stop children being exposed to less healthy food advertising. There have been improvements. Many companies have stopped targeting young children, and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Weetabix stand out for taking a more responsible approach. But our review of food marketing practices in the first six months of 2008 found that while most of the leading food companies now have impressive sounding policies on marketing to children, they still leave plenty of scope for less healthy promotions. Many are still reliant on traditional marketing techniques such as competitions and cartoon characters on packaging. Others have shifted their focus to the teen market, using increasingly diverse and often underhand ways to promote less healthy products to children using new media such as websites and mobiles, in a way that parents are unlikely to be aware of. All of this is in spite of spiralling child obesity rates and diet-related health problems. Over 30 per cent of 2 to 15 year old boys and over 28 per cent of 2 to 15 year old girls are already obese or overweight and predictions suggest this will rise dramatically.7 Which? wants to see an end to the marketing of foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt to children as part of a broader strategy to tackle poor diets. Promoting food to children influences what they choose to eat and current promotions are dominated by sugary breakfast cereals, soft drinks, confectionery and savoury snacks. If we’re to help young people to eat more healthily, it’s vital that we reduce their exposure to the marketing of less healthy foods. A new Which? survey shows that the public wants change. 88 per cent of people think that food companies need to be more responsible in the way that they market food to children.8 OUR RESEARCH his report revisits the Which? Food Fables report of November 2006.9 We have reviewed the marketing tactics some of the leading food companies use to target children with foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt and how this has changed since our last report. We have also looked at company marketing policies to see if they go far enough. We have drawn conclusions on the performance of the food companies overall and made recommendations for the action that needs to be taken by industry and government. We have also highlighted specific areas that we think individual companies could be focusing on in the meantime in order to be more responsible. From January to June 2008 we looked at T company websites, packaging, advertising and other promotions. From 31 March to 13 April 2008 we analysed TV viewing data10 to assess which foods were being advertised in different regions by which companies when most children were watching the main commercial TV channels. We used the Food Standards Agency’s nutrient profiling scheme11 to assess the healthiness of products promoted by the companies. Only products that were assessed to be ‘less healthy’ (ie. high in fat, sugar and/or salt) have been used as examples in this report. Throughout the report, we define a child as someone under 16. ‘Younger children’ are aged up to 11 and ‘older children’ are 12 to 15. Company policies have been edited, but we have included all key aspects relevant to marketing of food to children. Food Fables-the second sitting 3 WHERE ARE WE NOW? 80% think TV ads for unhealthy foods shouldn’t be allowed when kids are watching in the greatest numbers 4 Food Fables-the second sitting here has been a lot of debate about food marketing controls since our first Food Fables report. But there is currently very little regulation regarding the advertising and promotion of food to children. While Ofcom, the government communications regulator, has introduced rules for TV ads,12 these are too limited and other forms of marketing are largely controlled by patchy self regulation and company policies. T TV TIMINGS Since January 2008 advertising of ‘less healthy’ foods13 to children during programmes ‘of particular appeal to under 16s’ has been restricted on terrestrial TV channels. Digital children’s channels will have to implement the new rules by 1 January 2009. The new rules are a positive first step, but they are ineffective in limiting the advertising of less healthy foods when most children are watching TV.14 This is because the restrictions are determined not by the total number of children watching, but by the proportion. So if a programme is watched by 20 per cent more under 16s than the general viewing population, restrictions apply. On the other hand, even if a huge number of children are watching a show, if there’s also a large number of adults watching, restrictions don’t apply. A self-regulatory code (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice – BCAP) restricts the actual content of TV adverts targeted at children. It was strengthened in 2007 but the effect has been limited, and it needs to go further. The Code contains some restrictions on promoting foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt such as the use of celebrities or licensed cartoon characters, but only for pre or primary school children. Companies’ own cartoon characters, such as Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Nestlé’s Quicky the Nesquik Bunny, are not restricted at all. The more general requirements relating to children are also vague and open to interpretation. PUSHY PROMOTIONS The majority of non-broadcast promotions, such as press and billboard ads, online advertising and promotional offers, fall under the self-regulatory control of the Advertising Standards Authority. The content of this marketing is judged against the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice)15 code, which is in most parts the same as the BCAP, except that it doesn’t even recognise that there are foods high in fat, sugar and salt, only differentiating fresh fruit and vegetables. Again specific restrictions only apply to pre and primary school children and these are limited in scope (as with the BCAP, company cartoon characters are permitted for children of all ages). Company and branded websites are free to run any content, such as games and promotions appealing to children, because they are classified as editorial content. The UK advertisers’ body ISBA introduced a voluntary content code in 2007 but it is similar to the CAP code16, and therefore has similar inadequacies. Other forms of marketing to children, such as food and drink packaging, in-store promotions and sponsorship are not covered by these codes at all. INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENTS Leading food companies are beginning to acknowledge the adverse effect irresponsible marketing can have on food preferences, or at least the pressure to act more responsibly. Many have started to clean up their act and reduce blatant promotions to young children. A signal of this shift was a pledge from 11 leading food companies at the end of 2007 to ‘change food and beverage advertising on TV, print and internet to children under the age of 12 in the European Union’.17 However, this initiative doesn’t go far enough as it doesn’t cover under 16s, and only covers younger children where they make up at least 50 per cent of the audience. The criteria for distinguishing healthier and less healthier foods have yet to be published. Our review of individual company policies has shown some improvement in self-imposed restrictions on advertising and promotion to young children, but we found, they fall short of what we think is needed to help improve children’s diets. GOVERNMENT GESTURES ● The government has started to take action but isn’t going far enough, fast enough. The UK-wide communications regulator, Ofcom, was instructed to look at tightening TV advertising of food to children. This led to restrictions introduced in 2007 but they are limited in scope. A Food and Drink Advertising and Promotion Forum was set up following the publication of the Choosing Health White Paper in 200418 and the subsequent Food and Nutrition Action Plan for England.19 It was supposed to tackle other forms of marketing to children but has made little progress and there haven’t been any other government initiatives looking at these broader areas anywhere else in the UK. ● In January 2008, an Obesity Strategy for England20 was published, reiterating the actions needed. It also announced bringing forward a review of the new Ofcom restrictions on TV advertising, and the intention to review the effectiveness of all the advertising content codes, with respect to children. The new strategy also announced that a Healthy Code of Good Practice would be developed with the food and drink industry. The aim of the code would be to challenge the whole industry to reduce consumption of saturated fat, sugar and salt. Companies are encouraged to take a voluntary approach, but the government will ‘continue to examine the case for a mandatory approach where this might produce greater benefits, particularly for children’s health.’ Food Fables-the second sitting 5 WHAT WE’VE UNCOVERED ur research has highlighted that food companies are still using tried and tested tactics to promote less healthy foods to children and has uncovered new trends in the ways companies, advertisers and marketing managers do this. O 88% think that food companies need to be more responsible in the way they market food to children 6 Food Fables-the second sitting TARGETING TEENS In response to public concern and consumer campaigning, marketing of less healthy foods to very young and primary school age children is starting to be viewed as increasingly unacceptable in the food industry. But we’ve noted a shift among several of the big companies towards the teen market and young adults, for example, by using social networking sites. ONLINE OFFERS We found a reduction in some companysponsored website content, including games and downloads, aimed at young children (for example, Kellogg’s Frosties and Coco Pops sites and Nestlé’s site Fantasy World of Fun have all been closed down). But several companies have developed more sophisticated brand sites, often tying in with promotions and linking up with popular sites such as video site YouTube, and social networking sites Bebo, MySpace and Facebook. A recent Ofcom report21 found that social networking sites are most common among children and young people. Nearly half (49 per cent) of children (aged eight to 17) have a profile on a social networking site. Young people are also exposed to online advertising. The recent Fanta ‘Want it, Win it’ promotion, and the MAOAM Dance Mayhem promotion, were advertised on the under-18s clubbing site Clubdtv. Age restrictions are being applied on some websites. To enter or get involved with many you have to enter a date of birth, but with most of those we tested it was easy to go back and change your date of birth if you were denied access. Coke Zone and the M&Ms website make this more difficult (by using cookies, a technical way for a website to remember what you’ve done). GOING GLOBAL While several brands are reducing their unsuitable child-focused website content in the UK, their US and international sites can still feature games and downloads. Because the web is worldwide, access to these websites can’t be restricted unless companies start applying strict global policies, and in some cases international brands, such as M&Ms promote the same web address in many countries. Several of the most popular children’s websites in the UK 22 are American, and carry ads to other US websites. manufacturers. A code taken from a pack is texted to collect points (which can then be used for rewards – such as Coke Zone), or to enter a competition, such as Fanta’s ‘Want it, Win it’. In this example a Fanta-branded mobile phone game was sent to all entrants, via a WAP push (WAP enables access to the internet from a mobile phone). Companies are also encouraging texting of a number to receive a free ring tone (such as Kellogg’s zookeeper competition and Dr Pepper’s ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ promotion). When entering a promotion via mobile phone it’s harder to apply age restrictions than on the web. Age restrictions on the Coke Zone website VIRAL VILLAINS Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use social networks to increase brand awareness. Viral promotions may be a video clip, an interactive game, images or even text messages. The key to a successful campaign is to produce something that people want to pass on to their friends. Advertising agency Mother recently won an industry award23 for a viral video campaign run in 2007 for Coca-Cola to promote its ‘Buy a Player’ campaign. Viral marketing can also be used in a positive way – ‘Snack Dash’24, a healthy eating game developed for the government’s School Food Trust was the fastest growing and highest traffic-generating viral ever tracked by the Viral Chart.25 MOBILE MARKETING Mobile phones are being used for promotions, especially by soft drink Fanta branded mobile phone game CATCHY CHARACTERS Licensed characters (such as Kung Fu Panda, SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby-Doo!) are still being used on food packaging to promote predominantly less healthy foods to children. Tie-ins linked to cinema and DVD releases are continuing at Burger King and McDonald’s with free toy promotions in children’s meals. Toys based on The Spiderwick Chronicles, SpongeBob SquarePants – Pest of the West and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull have already featured in 2008. McDonald’s also recently developed its own ‘Fairies and Dragons’ characters. This was supported by a sophisticated website, promoted on the main McDonald’s website which included games and puzzles. Film tie-ins were also found on several Nestlé products. However, Food Fables-the second sitting 7 since our review of the use of cartoons in food marketing in 200726 we’ve noted a reduction in the use of licensed characters by the leading food companies. Some companies are concentrating on using their own characters as a shortcut to brand recognition for young children. TV TACTICS We now have some TV advertising restrictions and they do aim to protect children under 16 and distinguish healthier and less healthy foods. However our analysis has repeatedly shown that the rules don’t protect children when most are watching it. Family-viewing programmes with large audiences, such as Dancing on Ice, and Coronation Street are often watched by more children than a programme like The Simpsons, but aren’t covered by the rules because many adults are watching as well as many children. Manufacturers of foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt may no longer be advertising during children’s programmes, but they are still advertising their products on TV when most children are watching.27 During the two week period we examined we found that 16 of the top 20 programmes showing 84% think the Government needs to do more to control how foods are marketed to children 8 Food Fables-the second sitting ads that were watched by the highest numbers of children weren’t affected by the restrictions.28 In previous analysis periods we have found that as few as one programme in the top 20 programmes watched by children was covered by the restrictions29. SPORTY SCHEMES Several food companies are keen to promote physical activity in an attempt to highlight the other side of the energy balance equation so critical in obesity. We found several on-pack offers and promotions that focus on sport. This usually involves taking sweet packets to get a free swim, dance session or badminton game, for example. Several companies associated with foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt also sponsor youth sport. McDonald’s sponsors children’s community football across the UK. Together with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Kellogg’s is a long-term sponsor of the community ‘Swim Active’ scheme which aims to increase access to swimming across the UK and the ASA Awards scheme. The Awards used to be sponsored by Tony the Tiger but the branding has changed to the more neutral Kellogg’s. In a similar move, Coca-Cola has changed the branding of the sponsorship of the ‘Coca-Cola English Schools Cup’ to the ‘Minute Maid Schools Cup’. However a similar competition in Scotland is still known as the ‘Coca-Cola 7s’. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both run high profile marketing campaigns featuring footballers such as Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. Which? research has found that three in four parents (77 per cent) think ‘celebrities should take more responsibility for the food they promote to children’.30 LOUSY LABELLING The packaging of many products marketed to children emphasises positive aspects. Vitamin and mineral contents are highlighted and there are suggestions that a food is ‘natural’, or ‘contains fruit juice’ when the majority of the sugar will be added sugar. In some cases products with these claims didn’t carry full nutrition information, so parents wouldn’t be able to check the level of sugars, saturates or salt (such as Nestlé’s Milkybar and Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles). None of the packaging used the easy-to-understand traffic light system of labelling.31 Which? has consistently called for this system which is colour-coded and based on values per 100g. Research by Which? and others have found that it’s the easiest for consumers to understand.32 The industry favours percentage Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) and several companies have voluntarily displayed percentage GDAs on the front of packs, but there are major inconsistencies with this. Some listed values as percentage of a five to ten year old child’s GDA (Rowntree’s Jelly Tots and Fruit Pastilles), while others gave the percentage of an adult’s GDA (Bassetts Jelly Babies Minis and Milky Way). Some of the serving sizes companies used seemed misleading. Jelly Babies Minis and Dairy Milk Buttons were labelled with percentage GDA for just a single sweet rather than the whole small bag which is unlikely to reflect the amount usually eaten. Some 500ml bottles of soft drinks are also labelled as having 2x250ml servings, so a 500ml bottle of Coke is labelled as 29 per cent sugar of an adult GDA, but if the whole bottle were drunk it would be 58 per cent. Nestlé Fruit pastilles only show 4 nutrients DODGY DISCLAIMERS We found the packaging of snack foods, in addition to TV ads for Kellogg’s, suggesting to consumers that the product can ‘be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet’, together with an ‘active lifestyle’. It is unclear what this disclaimer is expected to convey and it seems meaningless when put on foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt. In some cases there is a contradiction between this statement and how a product is marketed. For example Kellogg’s has recently promoted Coco Pops as an after-school snack – therefore suggesting children eat this high sugar breakfast cereal more regularly. Food Fables-the second sitting 9 THE 12 COMPANIES BURGER KING WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? The Kids’ Menu at Burger King includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Angus mini-burgers, chicken fillet strips and fries. If a child chooses the cheeseburger, regular fries and a small chocolate milkshake, they’ll be consuming a significant 29g fat, 13g saturates and 27g sugars. Healthier options include chicken bites, a grape and apple ‘grapple bag’, water and milk. We liked: Burger King has removed child-focused content from its website and doesn’t use the site to promote the free gift offer available with the Kids’ Menu. We didn’t like: The Kids’ Menu, which includes less healthy options, is still promoted with free gift giveaways both in store and in large store window posters (visible from the street). ! They need to: Stop marketing less healthy options on its Kids’ Menu with free toys. Extend the policy to protect under 16s from less healthy promotions, based on FSA criteria for what is ‘less healthy.’ Free toys are still given away with kids’ meals 10 Food Fables-the second sitting WHAT THEY SAY WHAT WE FOUND l “In Fun Freebies Free toys are still given away with kids’ meals. Most recently, these have included characters from SpongeBob SquarePants – Pest of the West, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of which there were eight different toys in the set to collect. November 2006, we were one of the first amongst our competitors to take the voluntary step to stop all TV advertising to children in the UK and then chose to remove all kids’ content from our Burger King UK website in June 2007. l In November 2007, we were also one of ten companies to sign up to the EU Pledge on Children’s Advertising, further committing to restrict 100 per cent of print and online advertising directed to children under 12 years old to Kids’ Meals that meet the Burger King nutrition criteria. lThese moves were not commercial decisions. We are committed to responsible marketing and felt that a change in our marketing strategy to children was right for both our company and our customers. As such all advertising and marketing is squarely aimed at our adult audience. CADBURY PLC WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Cadbury produces chocolates that particularly appeal to children, such as Dairy Milk Buttons, Curlywurly and Fudge, as well as products such as Crunchie and Dairy Milk. These are high in sugar, fat and saturates. Other popular Cadbury-owned brands include Bassetts Jelly Babies Minis (74.6g sugar per 100g) and Maynards Wine Gums (55.6g sugar per 100g). We liked: They have now withdrawn their teaching packs aimed at primary schools. We didn’t like: There hasn’t been much change since 2006. Cadbury still has content for children on its main website and is marketing Creme Egg on Bebo. ! They need to: Extend their global marketing code so that they don’t promote foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt to under 16s. WHAT THEY SAY “We drafted our Global Marketing Code in 2004. Under this Code we are committed: ● Not to advertise to children under the age of 8 where they constitute the majority of the audience. ● Impose restrictions when advertising to children under the age of 12 (e.g. use of celebrities and characters, pester power, encouragement of irresponsible consumption, respect of the role of parents). ● Take into account locally applicable standards and requirements. ● Our Global Code applies not only to television and radio, but to outdoor, in-store and the growing new media. In 2006 we strengthened the Code’s application in this respect, to better address the Internet, SMS and other electronic marketing channels.” Cadbury was advertising WHAT WE FOUND during programmes Wayward Websites Fudge bar packaging promotes www.cadbury-land.co.uk which takes you to the main Cadbury site (www.cadbury.co.uk), which includes links to games and competitions. watched by the highest numbers of children Cadbury’s ‘Chocolate Machine’ on line game Food Fables-the second sitting 11 Web TV Tactics Cadbury Creme Eggs were embedded into the script of popular Bebo soap KateModern to launch the second phase of the ‘Here today, Goo tomorrow’ campaign in February 2008. KateModern is an online drama which received 1.5 million weekly views for its first series.33 Classroom Choc-packs Cadbury produced two branded teaching packs for schools, including the ‘Mixing, Melting and Making Pack’, which is aimed at Key Stage 1 (primary schools). These chocolate-focused packs were obtained via the Cadbury website (www.cadbury.co.uk) early in our research period. Cadbury have since informed us that they have withdrawn the teaching packs aimed at primary schools, and links to them have been removed from their website. They are now focusing on www.skillsspace.co.uk, an educational site for children at Key Stages 3 and 4. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, Cadbury was found to be advertising Cadbury Flake, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Maynards Wine Gums among programmes watched by the highest numbers of children. The Wine Gums ad, ‘Set the Joose Loose’, for example, featured a comical dancing Scotsman. COCA-COLA WHAT THEY SAY WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Coca-Cola brands include high sugar fizzy drinks such as Coke, Fanta, Sprite and Dr Pepper. There are 13.25 teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle of Coke. Regular Capri-Sun, a drink sold in pouches and targeted at children, contains fruit juice from concentrate (12 per cent) but contains 10.5g of sugar per 100ml. Low and no added sugar varieties, as well as 100 per cent fruit juices, are also available from Coca-Cola. We liked: Even where promotions ran across all brands, sugar-free versions were the main focus for marketing. The name of the sponsored community football scheme was changed from Coca-Cola to the ‘Minute Maid Schools’ Cup’. We didn’t like: Despite what their policy says about not using celebrities with strong appeal to under 16s, we found promotions for high sugar products featuring footballer Wayne Rooney. They are still using the CocaCola brand in the sponsorship of the school football tournament in Scotland (Coca-Cola-7s). The Capri-Sun website has games targeted at children. ! They need to: Extend marketing restrictions to under 16s, distinguishing healthier from less healthy products. 12 Food Fables-the second sitting “We welcome the clarification that Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority’s Committee on Advertising Practice have recently provided regarding restrictions on advertising of food and drink products to children on TV and within the non-broadcast environment.We ensure that we adhere to these new restrictions at all times. In practice this means that: ● We do not advertise any of our drinks on children’s TV channels, such as Nickelodeon or CITV. ● We do not advertise any of our drinks during TV programmes whose audience predominantly consists of under 16s, or that are likely to be of particular appeal to children under 16. ● We do not use celebrity or personality endorsements or licensed characters (e.g. animated cartoon characters) within any of our marketing which might have strong appeal to children under 16. ● Our media use is audited externally and independently to ensure compliance with these commitments. ● In addition we’ve been listening to parents’ concerns about advances in online marketing and have updated our marketing to children commitment as a result. ● We work in partnership with specialist agencies, internet marketing regulatory bodies and the Internet Advertising Bureau to ensure that our online marketing adheres consistently with our commitments. ● We do not have a presence in primary schools and we are only in secondary schools where we are invited.” WHAT WE FOUND Crafty Competitions ‘Find the next Rooney for your club’ was advertised on pack and online. To enter, codes from Coke drinks were submitted (age limit 12 and over). Coke Zero (sugar free) was the main brand used, but the offer was on all Coke packaging. Fanta launched an on-pack and website promotion ‘Want it, Win it’ in March 2008 with prizes of cameras, MP3 players, games, DVDs and CDs. Codes There are over13 teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle of Coke from bottles or cans were entered via the website or by text and it was promoted on Bebo. Capri-Sun ran ‘Win CapriStunts’, where children (12 and over) could enter codes online from pouches of Capri-Sun for a chance to win a stunt experience, such as ‘Be a human bowling ball’. Loyalty Launch £5m was spent launching the new Coke Zone loyalty scheme in April 2008. Codes on all Coke products could be entered via text or the website to gain you points for every Coke you drink. These points could be spent on ‘rewards’ such as free gifts relating to sport, music, fashion etc. The age limit was 12 and over and the site applied an effective method of stopping those denied access because they were under age from going back to change their date of birth. But it was still accessible for older children. Wayward Websites The main Coca-Cola website www.cocacola.co.uk promoted on packs will appeal to older children. It has competitions, Coca-Cola graphics which can be created and then downloaded or emailed to friends, downloads (wallpaper, screensavers and chat icons) and Coca-Cola TV ads to watch again. The ‘Want it, Win it’ competition saw the launch of a slick teen website for Fanta (www.fanta.co.uk), and includes games, downloads, and video content linked to YouTube. The competition and new website were promoted in online advertising. TV advertising of the site focused on gaming content, and encouraged you to ‘challenge a friend’. Capri-Sun packaging promotes www.capri-sun.co.uk ‘For tons of fun & games’. The site included several games and encourages users to add them to their profile pages on other sites and blogs. Mobile marketing The Fanta ‘Want it, Win it’ promotion encouraged entries via mobile phone. A free Fanta-branded mobile game was sent back to anyone who entered the competition the first time (via a WAP push to their mobile). Sports Sponsorship Coca-Cola sponsors the main school football tournament in Scotland, and it is branded as ‘Coca-Cola 7s’. It also has a strong sponsorship presence at many major sporting events popular with children. The English Football League is known as the ‘Coca-Cola Football League’. Coca-Cola was a sponsor of the 2008 UEFA European Championship, and will be a sponsor of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. Celebrity Sell Top footballer Wayne Rooney who has broad child-appeal has been used in several Coca-Cola ads and promotions. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, Coca-Cola was found to be advertising regular Coke among some of the top 20 programmes watched by the highest numbers of children. The ad included a promotion for the Coke Zone reward scheme. Treat Trips Capri-Sun had 2 for 1 vouchers to family attractions such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland on ten-pack boxes. Catchy Characters Four animated characters (Todd, Merv, Winnie and Marco) feature on Fanta packaging, the website and TV ads. Gimmicky Giveaways We found Dr Pepper was giving away free ringtones (‘20 to collect’) if the code from the pack was texted or entered online (you need to be 12 or over). Food Fables-the second sitting 13 HARIBO DUNHILLS WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Haribo gums and jellies such as Starmix and Tangfastics are high in sugar. Haribo also produce and promote MAOAM chews. We liked: There was some reduction in the child-focused content of the Haribo website. We didn’t like: Use of competitions, DVD promotions and the use of Haribo cartoon characters Hariboy and Gold-Bear on packs and the website. ! They need to: Stop the heavy promotion of sugary snacks to children, including younger children, through cartoons, competitions and websites. WHAT THEY SAY ● “HARIBO products are not only enjoyed by children, but by people of all ages. HARIBO is a fun product and brand and of course our marketing activities to all age-groups reflect this, however always in a responsible manner. ● We do not position our products as anything other than an enjoyable treat – they are not meal substitutes. They should be consumed in moderation, as part of an active and healthy balanced lifestyle. ● HARIBO UK has not advertised in or around programmes aimed at children under 16 since the beginning of 2007. This measure was taken in advance of the Ofcom regulations coming into force.” WHAT WE FOUND Wayward Websites The Haribo website has reduced the child-centred content (for example, games and screensavers have been removed). But in April 2008 we found an Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD release promoted with a competition on the site. Crafty Competitions Haribo regularly runs competitions aimed at children. In May 2008 the Haribo website launched a competition 14 Food Fables-the second sitting to ‘run the Haribo factory and become a sweet taster’. Entrants needed to be 14 or under. Winners toured the sweet factory together with ‘Same Difference,’ an act from the X Factor TV show. MAOAM ran several activity-based competitions, including Dance Mayhem, the ‘UK’s biggest under 18 freestyle dance competition’. It was promoted in teen magazine Mizz (www.mizz.com), and on under 18s clubbing site Clubdtv (www.clubdtvshop.com). Young people were encouraged to upload their video onto the site and it gave the chance to get two dance lessons for the price of one. Together with Kerrang Radio, the MAOAM Kerrang Skate Jam competition to win a years supply of MAOAM sweets, as well as a professional skateboarding lesson and kit, encouraged people to upload videos of their skateboarding skills. It was restricted to under 25s. Catchy Characters Haribo cartoon character Hariboy was promoted on packs and on the website. Candy Club Children can join the Haribo club to receive free sweets and newsletters. The club is promoted on packs and from the website homepage, and boasts over 9,000 club members. KELLOGG’S Ricicles, Frosties and Coco WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Many Kellogg’s cereals, particularly those aimed at children, are high in sugar, including Ricicles (37g sugar per 100g), Frosties (37g sugar per 100g), and Coco Pops (34g sugar per 100g) – all at least a third sugar. Products intended for kids’ lunchboxes and snacks such as Coco Pops Cereal & Milk Bars and Rice Krispies Squares, are high in sugar as well as saturated fats. We liked: They’ve removed several child-focused websites. We didn’t like: The continued use of cartoon characters in the marketing of less healthy cereals on packaging and in TV ads. ! They need to: Restrict marketing promotions to healthier products based on FSA criteria, and extend restrictions to under 16s. Stop using characters such as Tony the Tiger and Coco the Monkey to promote high sugar cereals. Pops are all at least one third sugar lThere are no ‘tell a friend’ functions on our website and children do not receive correspondence from us. lBy the end of this year we will have invested £3million with the ASA to get people across the UK swimming as part of a balanced lifestyle lWe currently meet all the EU pledge commitments but, in addition, we will no longer advertise during children’s airtime by the end of 2008. lWe do not advertise on children’s websites. lWe have been dedicating 1/3 of the back of many packs to healthy lifestyles since 2004. Our packs are widely read and this links well with the new lifestyle promotions.” WHAT WE FOUND WHAT THEY SAY ● “In June 2007 we announced the Kellogg’s global commitment to responsible marketing to children was to be further strengthened. We changed what and how we market to children under 12 using science-based Kellogg Global Nutrient Criteria. This commitment is in addition to our existing global code of not advertising to children under six. ● We do not target any advertising at children under six years of age. ● We do not produce educational material for schools. ● We do not advertise to children under 12 years if the product does not meet strict criteria for calories, salt, saturated fat and sugar content. ● We have moved more advertising to times when parents watch. Since 2003 we have shifted 80 per cent of Coco Pops spend outside children’s airtime and this will be 100 per cent by the end of 2008. ● We have changed the nature of our advertisements and designed them to appeal to famlies and mums rather than just children. ● We do not run promotions designed to appeal to children. In 2005 we had six third-party licensed character promotions. In 2008 there will be zero. ● We no longer use licensed characters on our packaging. ● All promotions are now provided across a range of products to enable mums to choose the food they want for their children. ● We do not advertise in children’s magazines or comics. ● All gaming has been removed from Kellogg UK websites. Catchy Characters Tony the Tiger (Frosties) and Coco the Monkey (Coco Pops) regularly appear in TV ads and on packaging for sugary cereals. Gimmicky Giveaways Cereal packets promoted various offers, some combined with competitions including vouchers for free entry to a zoo. Wayward Websites Kellogg’s has reduced child-focused content (such as games) online. But more sophisticated campaign support sites have been developed. ‘Win a Day as a Zookeeper’ is promoted with a ‘zoo academy’ quiz and lots of animal-focused content. Food Fables-the second sitting 15 Tiger making appearances at pools and on certificates. Now the branding has changed to the more neutral ‘Kellogg’s’, but Tony the Tiger still features on several ASA products, such as armbands. Mixed Messages Packets of high sugar cereals included tokens for a free cyclometer and vouchers for a free swim. Sports Sponsorship Kellogg’s has long sponsored the Amateur Swimming Association Awards for young children learning to swim. Until 2006 these were sponsored by Frosties, with Tony the Health Hype In early 2008 the Kellogg’s ‘Wake up to Breakfast’ campaign was supported by celebrities Jo Frost (TV nanny), Ian Wright (former footballer) and Phillipa Forrester (TV presenter). A quote on the Kellogg’s website states that “A healthy breakfast each morning provides essential energy to prepare you in mind and body for the day”. But many of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals aimed at children are less healthy and high in sugar. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, Kellogg’s was found to be advertising Frosties among the top 20 programmes watched by the most children. The ad featured the Tony the Tiger cartoon character. KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN (KFC) WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? The Kids Choice menu at KFC includes popcorn chicken, crispy strips or a mini fillet burger. KFC do not provide nutritional information about their products per 100g so we were unable to profile them to determine which products are healthier or less healthy. We liked: They’ve restricted advertising to children and have also stopped giving out free collectible toys with kids meals. We didn’t like: They are still advertising less healthy foods on TV when most children watch. ! They need to: Stop advertising less healthy options during the most popular programmes with children. Ensure their policy on marketing extends to children up to 16 and is based on the FSA’s criteria. WHAT THEY SAY ● “We do not market directly to children – this includes TV advertising and sponsorship. We also took the decision a number of years ago to stop using toy promotions in store. Similarly, we have a self imposed restriction on outdoor advertising within a one mile radius of schools.” ● We recognise the importance of a balanced diet and believe all foods can be eaten in moderation. We help customers make informed choices by offering a wide 16 Food Fables-the second sitting range of menu items, including some healthier options as well as smaller portion products. ● Over recent years, we have implemented a number of initiatives to improve the nutritional profile of our products.” WHAT WE FOUND Improved Image KFC has cut-back on blatant child marketing in the UK. Toys and promotions are no longer given out free with Kids Choice meals. The company website has no child-centred content, such as games and downloads. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising3, KFC was found to be advertising their Variety Boneless Box (which includes popular children’s options) among some of the top 20 programmes watched by the highest numbers of children. While the full 30 second ad was targeted at, and featured, a family, the shorter ten second ad also shown during this period only featured children. KRAFT WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? The top-selling Dairylea range from Kraft, including less healthy Rippers, Dunkers and Lunchables, is aimed at the children’s lunchbox market. Lunchables Ham ‘n’ Cheese Crackers contain 6.8g saturated fat and 1.8g salt per 100g. We liked: Dairylea websites aimed at children have been removed and web activity is focused on a central Kraft site. We didn’t like: The use of the cartoon Dairylea cows on TV ads and packaging for less healthy foods. ! They need to: Extend restrictions on marketing of less healthy foods to under 16s and base them on FSA criteria. Stop using the Dairylea cows in TV adverts to promote products high in fat and/or salt. WHAT THEY SAY WHAT WE FOUND ● “For many years, Kraft has not advertised to children under six. And only products that meet our Sensible Solution nutrition criteria are advertised in media directed to children under 12. We’ve also eliminated in-school advertising and set nutrition standards for Kraft products sold in schools. ● To qualify as a Sensible Solution, the product must provide beneficial nutrients, while staying within certain limits for calories, fat, sodium and sugar. Or, it has to have reduced calories, fat, sugar or sodium compared to similar products. ● During 2008 we will be making our policies public on the EU pledge website and putting in place an independent monitoring mechanism. ● In September 2004, Kraft Cares, the community partnership programme for Kraft Foods, launched Health 4 Schools, an initiative to promote healthy diet and active play to school children and communities in Gloucestershire. Over four years it has reached 100 schools with a total of 24,000 pupils.” Catchy Characters The cartoon Dairylea cows are used extensively in TV advertising as well as on packaging. Previous Which? research has found them popular and appealing to children.34 Health Hype In August 2007 the Advertising Standards Authority banned Kraft from using the claim that Lunchables were ‘Packed with good stuff’ because the product was high in salt and saturated fat. However we found a similar claim on packs: ‘Dairylea goodness kids love’, as well as ‘Made with real cheese and milk’. Dairylea packs make strong claims about containing vitamin D and calcium 'which helps build strong bones & teeth'. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, we found Kraft advertising Dairylea Dunkers among the top 20 programmes watched by the highest numbers of children. This advert uses cartoon cows, making the product particularly appealing to children. Dairylea Dunkers advert Dairylea Lunchables Ham ‘n’ Cheese Crackers are high in saturated fat and salt Food Fables-the second sitting 17 MARS/MASTERFOODS WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Popular chocolate brands include Mars Bar, Milky Way, M&Ms and Maltesers. All are high in sugar and saturates. Skittles are high in sugar. We liked: There are age restrictions on competitions and offers. We didn’t like: There weren’t many changes since our last report and they had lots of teen-friendly web promotions. ! They need to: Extend less healthy food marketing restrictions to under 16s based on government criteria. WHAT THEY SAY ● “We will not advertise our food and snackfood products in media primarily directed to children under 12. For the purposes of this commitment, we will not purchase advertising time or space where the composition of the under 12 audience at the time of the media buy is expected to exceed 25 per cent. ● We will not advertise, sponsor or undertake product placement in films or media programming where the intended audience is primarily children under 12. ● We will not use a celebrity or third party licensed character intended to appeal primarily to children under 12 to promote our snack food products. ● We will cease to use branded education materials in schools by children under 12. ● We will not sponsor sports events in primary schools. ● Text and internet promotions will be primarily directed to participants over the age of 12. We will not advertise or promote our websites in venues primarily directed at children under 12. ● We will use age-screening techniques to ensure that only young people above 12 can 18 Food Fables-the second sitting download branded wallpaper, screensavers or other leave-behind material from websites of potential interest to younger audiences.” WHAT WE FOUND Show Sponsorship Revels sponsors ITV’s You’ve Been Framed, very popular with children. Because it’s a family programme, it’s not covered by the new advertising restrictions but Which? has found that it was the second most popular programme with children when we analysed viewing data for the first two weeks in January 2008. Wayward Websites In June 2008 the Skittles website www.goskittleyourself.com was relaunched with a competition to design the front of Skittles packs. The interactive site encourages video uploads and the creation of dancing animations and the homepage links to the Skittles Bebo page. The M&Ms US website (www.mms.com) is promoted on pack across various countries and includes child-friendly e-cards, downloads and a stationery template featuring the M&M characters. In June 2008 the site promoted Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with M&Ms as characters in the film. This site effectively restricted entry by age – it wasn’t possible to go back to change your date of birth if entry was restricted because you were underage. Social Network Sites Mars is active on Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. Online weekly radio show MySpace Mars Planets Radio was launched in June 2008. It encourages users to add the Radio Player and Mars Planet branded banners to their profile, and add the site as a ‘friend’ so ‘you could win a month’s supply of Mars Planets to share with your mates’ (age 14 and over). A Skittles Facebook group (which includes games) has over 10,000 members. Catchy Characters M&Ms characters are used on pack, and promoted online. The Planet M&Ms site, accessed via the main website lets users create a personalised M&Ms character which can be used in games, on e-cards, or be printed on merchandise, such as t-shirts. Health Hype Milky Way carries reassuring claims that it has no artificial colours or flavours and ‘Contains milk’, but sugars and saturates aren’t listed. Several of the Mars products we looked at only gave basic four nutrition information, even if percentage GDAs for energy and fat were labelled. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, Masterfoods was found to be advertising Mars Bars, Mars Planets, and a free cinema ticket promotion on large packs of Maltesers, M&Ms and Revels all among the top 20 programmes watched by the most children. MC DONALD’S WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? A McDonald’s cheeseburger has 12g fat, 6g saturates and 1.5g salt per portion, that’s half of a four-six year old’s recommended daily salt intake. A small portion of fries adds another 11g fat, and a small chocolate milkshake adds 28g sugar and 6g fat. McDonald’s offers fish fingers, fruit bags, carrot sticks, milk and water among healthier options in a Happy Meal. Other menu items will appeal to older children and include less healthy options. We liked: Promotions of healthier Happy Meals options, including in TV ads. We didn’t like: The child-focused website, with a strong promotion of Happy Meal offers, which include less healthy options. ! They need to: Stop free-gift giveaways and remove children’s content from the website. Ensure that their marketing policy applies to children up to 16 and is based on the FSA’s criteria. WHAT THEY SAY WHAT WE FOUND ● “Three quarters of our Happy Meal menu is not high in fat ,sugar and salt. We intend to continue marketing responsibly talking to parents and children about our food. ● We intend our future advertising to stimulate young people’s imaginations and encourage physical activity. ● Like all food companies, we’re also subject to tight regulations about how and when we advertise food and drink to children. Within these regulations, we are able to continue to advertise a large part of our main menu and our Happy Meal menu to children but will ensure we do so within both the spirit and the letter of the regulations. ● We are also taking steps to get children more active – McDonald’s UK is the official Community Partner of the four home nation Football Associations working to create more volunteer community football coaches. In partnership with The FA, Scottish FA, Irish FA and Welsh Football Trust, we’ve already created over 11,500 new community coaches.” Fun Freebies Happy Meal free gift promotions included Kung Fu Panda, Euro 2008 football sticker albums and stickers, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and board games. In April 2008 a ‘Fairies and Dragons’ promotion had its own website (www.fairiesanddragons.com) promoted from the Kids Zone on the main McDonald’s site. It featured a jigsaw puzzle-style game, set within a fairy tale about all the characters. Film Freebies Often the free toys offered with Happy Meals are characters from big film releases, such as The Spiderwick Chronicles and Kung Fu Panda. Sports Sponsorship McDonald’s is the official community partner of the four national football associations. Children involved in community youth football projects are exposed to extensive McDonald’s marketing including heavily branded vests and also hoardings around the pitches. McDonald’s sponsored the 2008 UEFA European Championship, including the player escort programme that saw children aged six to ten walk out onto the pitch with the footballers. McDonald’s will sponsor the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. Wayward Websites The Kids’ Zone of the McDonald’s site (www.mcdonalds.co.uk) is clearly targeted at children with various fun activities, such as games and colouring-in sheets to print out (although wallpaper and screensaver downloads and e-cards have been removed). When trying to enter the Kids’ Zone, a message flashes up that requires children under 16 to click to say they have permission to access the site, but no registration is required and it’s easy to click through. A McDonald’s cheeseburger has 1.5g salt – that’s half of a 4-6 year old’s recommended daily intake Food Fables-the second sitting 19 NESTLÉ WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Many Nestlé breakfast cereals aimed at children are high in sugar, including Golden Nuggets, Frosted Shreddies and Cookie Crisp. Nesquik milkshake products are high in sugar, as are Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Jelly Tots. Chocolate products from Nestlé include Smarties, KitKat and Milkybar. We liked: The main child-friendly gaming site for Nestlé cereals has been removed. We didn’t like: Child-focused websites and on-pack promotions for less healthy products. ! They need to: Restrict child-focused cereal promotions, including cartoon characters, to healthy products in the range. Remove the remaining child-focused web content and extend all marketing restrictions to under 16s based on Government nutrition criteria. WHAT THEY SAY ● “Nestlé is a signatory to the EU pledge, which will be in place for 1st January 2009: ● EU Pledge 1: Not to advertise food and beverage products to children under the age of 12 on TV, print and internet, except for products which fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines. ● EU Pledge 2: Not to engage in any commercial communications related to food and beverage products in primary schools, except where specifically requested by or agreed with the school administration for educational purposes. ● Nestlé advertising fully complies with all new rules (CAP and BCAP) and will continue to 20 Food Fables-the second sitting operate to the “spirit of the law” not just the “letter”. ● Nestlé adopted the new ISBA on-line guidelines and has removed a number of websites, for example removing the “Fantasy World of Fun”. WHAT WE FOUND Catchy Characters Nestlé breakfast cereal cartoon characters include Chip the Wolf (Cookie Crisp) and Pete & Pardner (Golden Nuggets). Quicky the Nesquik Bunny features on all Nesquik products and the website. Gimmicky Giveaways Free books and football stickers to collect for a Euro 2008 football sticker album have been included in Cheerios cereal packets. Coupon Collecting Nestlé’s ‘Go Free’ offer (www.nestle-gofree.co.uk) involves collecting wrappers from a range of products for free sport or dance sessions and has no age restrictions. Crafty Competitions Fab ice lolly launched a new website www.myfabland.com with a ‘Design a Fab Den 2008’ competition in May 2008. The site appears to be aimed at parents, but the activities and competition are targeted at children (from five to 15 years). This was supported by a Fab Tour visiting tourist attractions and retailers in the Summer of 2008. Film Freebies Story books from films such as The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Golden Compass were given away free with boxes of cereal. Nestlé Yogurt & Milk Snack cake bars aimed at children are promoted with characters from the film Finding Nemo. The first ingredient in the product is sugar, but only the basic four nutrients are labelled. Wayward Websites The children’s game site Fantasy World of Fun, built to support various breakfast cereals was closed down in February 2008. However Nestlé still has some websites aimed at young children, including the Nesquik website (www.nesquik.co.uk), that we found promoted on Nesquik Magic Straws. It describes itself as an online adventure park, with detailed animated games and stickers to collect, and the Milkybar website (www.milkybar.co.uk) which includes colouring-in sheets. Frosted Shreddies packs promote www.knittedbynanas.com – a teen-targeted site which includes games. The Smarties website (www.smarties.co.uk) has a young focus, with an easy general knowledge quiz and ideas for a Smarties party. Nestlé launched a Facebook page for Smarties in March 2008 to mark the return of the blue Smartie. Health Hype All Nestlé cereals are labelled as containing ‘Wholegrain’ with the details of the health benefits of this. But several of the cereals are also high in sugar, particularly those targeted at children. Nestlé claim ‘Now with 25% fruit juice’ on Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, but no sugars are labelled. Milkybar claims to contain ‘All natural ingredients’, but no sugars are labelled. Tubs of Nesquik milkshake mix claim to ‘Contain vitamin D for strong bones’, and be ‘Fortified with vitamins,’ but again sugars aren’t labelled. TV Timing During our analysis of TV advertising, Nestlé was found to be advertising KitKat Senses and Cheerios cereal among the top 20 programmes watched by the highest numbers of children. The KitKat Senses ad, featuring popular group Girls Aloud, would particularly appeal to girls . PEPSICO WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? PepsiCo brands include fizzy drinks Pepsi and 7Up, Walkers crisps and Quaker. Pepsi and 7Up both have over 13 teaspoons of sugar per 500ml bottle, but sugar-free versions are available. Walkers, the UK’s topselling crisps and snacks brand, has 15 different flavours of standard crisps – all high in fat (about a third fat). We liked: None of the offers of competitions we found were open to under-16s. We didn’t like: The use of football celebrities to promote high sugar Pepsi products and websites with content appealing to older children. ! They need to: Extend restrictions to under 16s and only run promotions for ’healthier’ products based on government nutrition criteria. WHAT THEY SAY ● “PepsiCo in the UK does not target its marketing at children, and has not done so for several years. The UK business complies fully with the new Ofcom requirements, governing television advertising of food and beverage products to children aged under 16. ● We believe that advertising and marketing messages can be powerful tools to promote positive behaviour change, including the consumption of a healthy, varied and balanced diet and a more active lifestyle to help improve health. ● PepsiCo has signed the ‘EU pledge’ on advertising to children and will be making a set of commitments about advertising and marketing to children. These will be published during 2008 and will enter into force by 1 January 2009 at the latest. Pepsi and 7Up both have over 13 teaspoons of sugar per 500 ml bottle ● This includes no advertising of products to children under 12 years, except for products which fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines. Companies will publish specific criteria later this year. A third party will monitor companies’ advertising output. ● In line with commitments already made within UNESDA, the EU soft drinks association, PepsiCo does not advertise any of its carbonated soft drinks to children under 12 in ``the EU.” WHAT WE FOUND Wayward Websites PepsiCo has made significant investment in a range of sophisticated websites likely to appeal to older children. www.pepsi.co.uk (which focuses on Pepsi Max) is a major site aiming to create an online community with user-generated content, offers and competitions, with the focus on music and football. It links to football-focused social networking site www.pepsiyouniverse.com. Launched in 2008, this site enables you to assess your football ‘type’ and see how you match with top name footballers. Age is checked, but there are no restrictions. Youth site www.7up.co.uk, which includes downloads, games and fun content, is promoted strongly on all 7Up packs. The site focuses on the 7Up character Fido Dido, which also has it own website (www.fidodido.com) and links to channels on MySpace and YouTube. Food Fables-the second sitting 21 Catchy Characters 7Up’s Fido Dido is used on packaging, and on the website. Celebrity Sell The six ‘Pepsi Football Stars’ (Beckham, Lampard, Henry, Ronaldinho, Messi, Fabregas), wearing Pepsi-branded football shirts, have featured on regular Pepsi bottles and cans, Pepsi’s website www.howyoufootball.com, as well as on www.pepsiyouniverse.com. WEETABIX WHAT’S IN THE PRODUCTS? Brand leaders Weetabix and Ready Brek are low in sugar. Products aimed at children such as Weetos chocolate flavour and Disney Princess Multigrain Stars are higher in sugar but still come out as a ‘healthier’ option overall based on the FSA nutrient profiling scheme. We liked: The promotions of healthier cereals to children. We didn’t like: There was nothing we didn’t like, as we didn’t find any promotions for less healthy foods targeted at children. ! They need to: Continue to avoid marketing any less healthy foods to children and ensure this applies to up to 16s based on government nutrition criteria. WHAT THEY SAY ● “At Weetabix, although all our family breakfast cereals are suitable for children we only actually advertise Weetos directly to children and this is because, although it is a chocolatey cereal, it scores -1 against the FSA/Ofcom Nutritional Profiling Model, making it suitable for such advertising. All our other breakfast cereals are aimed at families so are not marketed to children at all. 22 Food Fables-the second sitting ● We have recently been promoting the “Weetabix Week” which encourages the addition of toppings onto Weetabix some of which are fruit. So in addition to a nutritious start to the day, this also helps busy mums get their kids on their way to one of their “five-a-day” at breakfast time.” WHAT WE FOUND Success Story Weetabix has made efforts to ensure that the products it markets to children meet the ‘healthier’ criteria of FSA nutrient profiling. We didn’t find any promotions for less healthy foods targeted at children during our research period. OTHER COMPANIES ur research threw the spotlight on other companies which are marketing foods irresponsibly to children. These companies also need to curb their less healthy promotions. O Puffs (Honey Monster Foods Ltd), which contain 35g sugar per 100g, promote an extensive, child-friendly website on packs, ‘visit www.honeymonster.co.uk for loads of honeytastic fun and games’. Packs promoted a competition to win an Xbox and a film tie-in with Bee Movie. ● Bratz Fruity Splitz, Disney Princess Dreamy Strawberry Iced Finger Biscuits and The Simpsons Mini Golden Cookies were just a few of the less healthy foods promoted by BonBon Buddies Ltd, which specialises in products branded with licensed cartoon characters. 83% ● Disney Pixar 6 Chocolate Mini Rolls feature Toy Story, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo (McCambridge (North) Ltd). food makes it harder to ● Sugar Chocolate Bars featured Winnie the Pooh and Piglet (Kinnerton (Confectionary) Australia) Pty Ltd). marketing of unhealthy get children to eat healthily ● Disney ● Pom-Bear snacks (Intersnack Ltd) are promoted with the company’s ‘Pom Bear’ cartoon character. We found packs promoting a competition to win a Raleigh bike and safety kit, you just text a number to enter. The product is promoted with a child-focused website with a club to join, downloads and games at www.pom-bear.co.uk think that irresponsible ● Pink Panther Wafers are wafer biscuits made by Rivington Foods Ltd. ● Bob the Builder Turkey & Pork Sausage is a high salt formed-meat product in the shape of Bob’s head (Feldhues GmbH). ● Transform-A-Snack (Red Mill Snack Foods Ltd) are aimed at young children and have a promotion on pack for www.transformas.co.uk which includes a comic and wallpaper to download. We also found several more foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt targeted at children using licensed cartoon characters: Food Fables-the second sitting 23 VERDICT ome companies are starting to take a more responsible approach to advertising foods to children, with those under 12 increasingly seen as an inappropriate target. But frustratingly, many are now simply channelling their marketing in a different direction, towards the teen market. We found many examples of marketing via new media such as websites and mobiles. These techniques are popular with young people and the nature of them makes them less visible to parents. In addition we still found too many on-pack promotions carrying licensed and company cartoon characters that would appeal to young children. So overall, in spite of many companies revising their policies and the introduction of various new controls, whether regulatory or industry selfregulation, children of all ages are still being exposed to a significant amount of marketing for less healthy foods. Below are some of the problems we found and our recommendations for action: S CATCHY CHARACTERS overweight or obese Young children are attracted to bright, shiny, colourful packaging, particularly if it features characters they are familiar with. Many of the top food companies are reducing the amount of licensed characters they use on foods but we still found several – on the whole being used to target less healthy food to children. Several of the top companies are still using their own cartoon characters to promote less healthy foods. These characters should be used to promote healthier foods instead. by 2050 FUN FREEBIES 55% of boys will be We found too many free gift giveaways designed for children to promote less healthy foods, as well as incentive schemes and competitions that indirectly encourage consumption of less healthy products (to get more points or entries to a competition). These promotions should be limited to healthier options. 24 Food Fables-the second sitting WEB-WISE Our research highlighted the shift towards teen marketing in new media. This is evident in both the use of social networking sites and in the style and content of some company websites. Where age-restrictions were applied on websites, we found varying levels of effectiveness, exposing the need for industry standards on this. Competitions and offers entered via mobile phones couldn’t apply age restrictions. Teen-friendly Fanta website different company nutrition criteria – rather than the FSA’s nutrient profiling model. COMPANIES TO CHEER Weetabix fares best among the large breakfast cereal manufacturers. Its brand leader – Weetabix – is a healthier product, and while its child-targeted cereals are high in sugar, they come out as a healthier option overall. Among the fast food chains, it was encouraging that KFC have removed free toys from kids meals. However, both companies could still do more to help consumers make healthy choices. KFC should provide complete nutritional information and Weetabix should further reduce the sugar in cereals aimed at children, such as Weetos and chocolate flavour and Disney Princess Multigrain Stars. GET ACTIVE TV TIMINGS The new Ofcom rules ban advertising of any foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt during programmes with a predominantly child audience. However Which? has found that significant numbers of children are exposed to less healthy ads when watching programmes such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale, The Bill and Britain’s Got Talent. These programmes are not affected by the restrictions because high numbers of adults watch them as well as children. The advertising restrictions need to be extended to include programmes watched by the largest numbers of children, regardless of how many adults are also watching. AGE ADJUSTMENTS Our review of leading food company policies found an awareness of the need to be seen to be tackling irresponsible marketing behaviour. Many are taking steps to stop direct advertising to children, but we found a variety of cut-off ages. Most company commitments to limit advertising to children define them as under 12s, rather than under 16s. However, these restrictions are generally based on a Our review of company promotions found a trend towards activity-based offers (such as swimming, sport and dance), in addition to several company-sponsored sports and community initiatives that encourage exercise. Which? welcomes this, but using less healthy products or a brand that mainly sells less healthy food, to promote exercise, can create a confusing message. LOUSY LABELLING We found much of the nutrition labelling of the less healthy foods covered in this report to be inconsistent and inadequate. The labels should be helping consumers recognise when foods are high in calories, fat, saturates, sugar and salt, especially when ‘health’ and ‘quality’ aspects of the product are promoted. Food Fables-the second sitting 25 fat, sugar and salt and protect all children up to the age of 16. ● The £45 billion is how much obesity will cost the UK economy by 2050 WHICH? IS CALLING FOR: Government to provide leadership, working with industry to develop a stronger and broader code of practice so restrictions are in place for all forms of promotion targeting children with high fat, sugar and salt foods. This includes ones we’ve identified, such as website, mobile phone, viral marketing, company and licensed cartoon characters on packaging, use of celebrities and sponsorship. A clear deadline should be set for voluntary action to achieve these changes. If this fails, the Government should regulate, so that companies have to be more responsible. ● The Government’s TV advertising restrictions for foods high in fat, sugar and salt to be extended to cover advertising during the times that most children are watching, not just during programmes mainly watched by children. ● The ● Food companies to go further in their marketing policies so that they limit all promotions for foods high in 26 Food Fables-the second sitting effectiveness of any restrictions to be continually monitored and reviewed, in light of the evolving nature of marketing. 1 Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices – Project Report, Government Office for Science, October 2007 2 National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4-18 years, 2000 3 Childcatchers, Which? Campaign Report, January 2006 10 BARB data for children aged four to 15 and Nielsen data were analysed for the period: 31 March – 13 April 2008 11 http://www.food.gov.uk/ healthiereating/advertisingtochildren/nutlab/ 12 Television Advertising of Food and Drink Products to Children, Ofcom, February 2007 behaviours and use, Ofcom, April 2008 22 Top 20 children’s websites according to Hitwise, February 2008 23 British Television Advertising Awards 2008, Bronze Award for Best Viral 24 http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/ content.asp?ContentId=593 4 Review of Research on the Effects of Food Promotion to Children, Hasting el al, September 13 ‘Less healthy’ foods are those high in fat, sugar and/or salt – defined using the Food 25 http://www.brandrepublic.com/ News /793691/First-impressions/ 2003 (Commissioned by the Food Standards Agency); The Extent, Nature and Effects of Food Promotion to Children: A Review of the Evidence, World Health Organization, July 2006; Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?, US Institute of Medicine, December 2005. (Commissioned by the US Congress); New Research on Advertising Foods to Children: Standards Agency nutrient profiling scheme 14 BARB data for children aged four to 15, and Nielsen data were analysed for the periods: 1 – 14 January 2008; 31 March – 13 April 2008 15 British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing. Advertising Standards Authority 16 Online Promotion of Food to Children. Best practice principles for communications on 26 Cartoon Heroes and Villains, Which? Campaign Report, August 2007 27 BARB and Nielsen data : 1 – 14 September 2007; 1 – 14 January 2008; 31 March – 13 April 2008 28 BARB and Nielsen data: 31 March – 13 April 2008 29 BARB and Nielsen data: 1 – 14 January 2008 An Updated review of the Literature, Sonia Livingstone, January 2006 (commissioned by Ofcom) advertiser-owned websites, ISBA, July 2007 17 www.eu-pledge.eu Food and drink companies pledge to change advertising to children. 30 Which? survey of 815 parents of children aged 16 in GB in February to March 2006. 31 http://www.food.gov.uk/foodlabelling/ 5 Which? survey of 2,027 adults in GB (aged 16+) from 8 – 12 February 2008 6 A weighted sample of 2,027 adults (aged 16+) was surveyed 8 – 12 February 2008 7 Health Survey for England 2006 Latest Trends, National Centre for Social Research, January 2008 8 A weighted sample of 2,027 adults (aged 16+) was surveyed 8 – 12 February 2008 9 Food Fables, Which? Campaign Report, Nov 2006 Published December 2007 18 Choosing Health: Making Healthy Choices Easier, Department of Health white paper, November 2004 19 Choosing a Better Diet: a Food and Health Action Plan, Department of Health, March 2005 20 Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government strategy for England, Department of Health, January 2008 21 Social Networking: a qualitative and quantitative research report into attitudes, signposting/ (accessed 30 June 2008) 32 Healthy Signs?, Which? Campaign Report, July 2006 33 http://www.talkingretail.com/ products/8407/KateModern-online-soap-tiein-.ehtml 34 Food Fables, op cit. Food Fables-the second sitting 27 For further information please contact: [email protected] Tel: 020 7770 7353 More information can also be found on our website (www.which.co.uk/campaigns) Published by: Which?, 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF. July 2008 Which? campaigns actively for all consumers. With around 675,000 members in the UK, we are the largest consumer organisation in Europe. Entirely independent of government and industry, we are funded through sales of our consumer magazines, online products and books. Which? is the operational name of Consumers’ Association – a registered charity No 296072.
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