24 January 2012
The OPC complained that an ad for Streets Paddle Pops breached the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s ‘Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative’ (RCMI) because Paddle Pop ice creams are not a healthy dietary choice, the advertisement was directed to children and the ad was shown during high rating programs for children, including Junior Masterchef – Disneyland, Home Alone and Home Alone 2.
The advertisement featured children's themes, animation and a voiceover targetted at children.
The ASB decided that Paddle Pops do meet the definition of a healthy choice for the purpose of the RCMI. However, it determined that the ad did breach the RCMI as it was directed to children and failed to reference a healthy lifestyle by encouraging good dietary habits and physical activity.
Unilever (owner of Streets) applied for independent review of the decision. The Independent Reviewer upheld the primary decision finding that it contained no substantial flaw or legal error. It emphasised that the RCMI creates an obligation in relation to the product itself (that it must meet the nutrition criteria for advertising to children) and an obligation in relation to the advertisement itself (that it must encourage healthy eating and/or physical activity).
See ASB decision here and Independent Reviewer's decision here .