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Parents’ group slams Kellogg’s and PepsiCo over ‘unhealthy’ food marketing

Photo source: Carolyn Kaster

Online parent group Parents’ Voice has called out fast food giants and FMCG brands over the marketing of “unhealthy” products.

The Fame and Shame Awards, now in its 15th year, named Kellogg’s in the Pester Power category, saying its limited-edition Froot Loop is a “recipe for disaster for Aussie kids”. The packaging features with colourful cartoon characters such as mermaids, unicorns and baby sharks on its packaging.

Kellogg’s was also criticised for its LCMs ad, ‘Light Up Their Afternoons’. The organisation said that the puffed rice ad failed to mention LCMs Health Star Rating (0.5 to 2) and that some bars contain 35 per cent sugar.

PepsiCo was blasted over its Doritos’ Spiderman billboards at Town Hall Station in Sydney which it said “bombards kids with unhealthy food advertising while they’re out and about”.

“The processed food industry knows that children are attracted to products with bright colours and cartoon characters on the pack. 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,”
said Alice Pryor, Parents’ Voice campaigns manager.

Pryor said Australia should regulate the food industry’s advertising standards.

“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,” Nicole French, a parent member of Parents’ Voice, said.

The awards also celebrated companies that it believes are promoting a healthy lifestyle to kids.

Aldi was awarded Parents’ Choice – Food category for what it deemed supportive ads.

“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,” Pryor said.

The parents’ organisation is urging the Government to set higher regulatory standards for company packaging and marketing of food products to protect kids.

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