The OPC complained that the TV ad breached the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative (RCMI) as it was directed primary to children and promoted a product that did not represent a healthier choice and did not promote good dietary habits or physical activity. In addition, the OPC complained that the TV ad breached the AANA Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children (Children’s Code) as it encouraged and promoted unhealthy eating habits.
The advertisement showed a young child presented with a Kinder Surprise chocolate. He was shown eating the chocolate, while still seated at the coffee table and playing a game with his parent. The advertisement then showed a cartoon with a character from the Despicable Me 3 movie, followed by the banner for the movie including its title, the words ‘Now Showing’ and the image of the minion characters from the movie. While these cartoon images were shown, the advertisement’s voice over invited viewers to ‘enter the world of Despicable Me with Kinder Surprise. Discover the ten new toys.’
The Board held that the theme of parents appearing amazed by their children would not appeal to children. There were no children speaking in the advertisement and the language was not child-like (although children would be familiar with the Despicable 3 movie); children would be more interested in the product than the advertisement. The Board held that while the Despicable Me 3 component of the advertisement would have strong appeal to children, this part of the advertisement was fleeting and an ‘add-on’ to the main advertisement. The Board therefore held that the advertisement was attractive to a broad audience and not primarily to children.
Under the Children’s Code, the Board commented that advertising a product with a particular nutritional composition (in this case, high sugar and fat) does not of itself undermine the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The Board held that although the advertisement encouraged viewers to collect all 10 new toys, for which they would need to buy at least 10 Kinder Surprise products, there was no suggestion to eat 10 eggs successively and consumption would not be by one person necessarily. The Board held that the likely interpretation of the advertisement was that the Kinder Surprise product was intended as a treat and there was no suggestion of frequency of consumption. Therefore, the advertisement did not encourage excess consumption.
Read the ASB’s decision on the Kinder Surprise Despicable Me 3 Toys TV ad.