Ad featuring kids throwing away fruit banned by watchdog

An ad for Coca Cola Amatil’s brand SPC has been banned by the advertising watchdog because it features children throwing away fruit in preference for the product.

The Advertising Standards Board overturned a previous 2006 ruling in favour of the ad following a new complaint. Normally, it does not rule on the same ad again within a five year period. But it said that CEO Fiona Jolly had stated that “it is likely that community standards have developed on this issue over the past four years and nine months to justify the Board’s further examination of its consistency with the advertiser codes”.

The ad promotes SPC Fruit In Jelly as “fruit that won’t get thrown away”.

One complaint said:

“I work at a primary school where we have a 10 o’clock fruit break students are gradually seeing eating raw fruit as a natural snacking behaviour. This advert totally undermines the message we are trying to give them.

“The ad is showing that standard fresh fruit is not a good choice for kids to have or eat in their lunchbox and instead they would be much better off having a pre packaged jelly style fruit snack. I object to this ad and find it offensive.”

In a response to the ASB, Coca Cola Amatil said: “The advertisement referred to in this complaint is based around an insight that mothers raise time and time again in research groups. That is, the fruit they send to school ends up discarded, uneaten and therefore wasted: just as it is portrayed in the advertisement. We are not suggesting that real fruit should be wasted, just that children do it.”

It added: “Effective advertising is all about having insights into the consumer needs and demonstrating that you understand their problems. While the complainant may not agree, the insight here is that families are looking for lunch box treats that will be eaten, not wasted.”

But the ASB ruled: “The Board noted that the advertised product in this advertisement is fruit in jelly with a fruit content of only 28%, with sugar added as a component of the jelly. The Board considered that this product would be unlikely to be seen as a substitute for a piece of fruit.

“The Board considered that even though it may be true that some children would prefer to throw fruit away rather than eat it, this fact should not be advertised in a manner that suggests that parents/carers replace fresh fruit with the advertised product. The majority of the Board considered that the advertisement is encouraging consumers to choose the advertised product over fresh fruit or over a product which would be consistent with dietary guidelines and is therefore contrary to prevailing community standards.”


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