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 of physical activity.
The advertisement was set to music similar to the Star Wars theme, which played as a family heads towards the kitchen in slow motion to eat party pies, chanting to the song. The son then appeared dressed as an astronaut walking slowly down the stairs to the kitchen, as the parents continue chanting to the music and thumping the table. The end frame depicted a box of party pies with a cartoon style backdrop of the moon, planets and stars and the words “Best Snack Ever”. The voice over at the end was the child’s voice again, stating “Best Snack Ever”. The advertisement was screened during a broadcast of the children’s movie Frozen.
The ASB held that while the movie Frozen is rated PG and would attract a broad family audience, most people would agree that it is a movie directed primarily to children. This was held even though information provided by the advertiser showed that children did not represent more than 35% of the audience. For this reason, the ASB held that the advertisement was directed primarily to children. With respect to its themes and visuals, the ASB held that the advertisement was directed primarily to the main grocery buyer, not to children – but the advertisement fell within the RCMI on the test of the viewing audience comprising mostly children.
The ASB then held that party pies do not represent healthier dietary choices under the advertiser’s Action Plan, even though the advertiser argued that the product received a health star rating of 3 stars. The advertisement did not encourage excess consumption or otherwise undermine the importance of a healthy active lifestyle.
Read the ASB’s decision on the Patties Party Pies advertisement