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Anti-obesity campaigners fail in bid to stop Cadbury ads

Anti-obesity group, the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC), has failed in a bid to have an animated Cadbury chocolate ad pulled from the internet for allegedly breaching the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative.

In a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board the OPC claimed that Cadbury parent Mondelez had breached the initiative which is designed limited the marketing of unhealthy food choices to children under 12.

The 80-second Youtube film shows a square of Cadbury Chocolate and an Oreo cookie forming a friendship and going on an adventure.

In its complaint the OPC said the ad, which featured the chocolate and cookie showing how they were feeling through emoticons popping up in bubbles, was aimed directly at children.

“The advertisement clearly encourages child viewers to imagine themselves participating in fantastic, magical adventures such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, associating fun and imagination with the consumption of the product,” the complaint said.

“The advertisement is presented as a reading of a children’s story with narrator speaking very slowly and simply, and beginning the story with the opening words ‘Here’s a little story about two best friends.’ It is a story with a simple uncomplicated plot structure that would appeal to children.”

It went ton to say the “highly evocative images” did not have any content that would appear to be aimed at adults, but used language and themes specifically aimed at children.”

Cadbury and Oreo

Modelez reject the complaints, saying the ad was not directed at children, but used broad themes aimed at a wide audience.

“We believe that the creative and its use is consistent with the principles outlined in the AANA’s codes, the AFGC’s (Australian Food and Grocery Council) RCMI and our company’s even tighter internal policies and do not appeal primarily to children,” Mondelez responded.

“Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo is a product developed for family sharing for purchase by the main grocery buyer in the household and in no way is a product ‘positioned’ as a children’s product as the complainant states. The detailed animation style appeals to adults: The style of the animation is as sophisticated as it can be and often looks life-like. The environment is realistic rather than cartoon-like, and detailed, busy and complex which does not appeal to children.”

Considering the complaint the ASB said that, with the ad appearing on Youtube, the audience aged under 12 years would not be 35% or more.

“The Board noted the concept of friendship, represented by the relationship between the piece of Dairy Milk chocolate with the Oreo biscuit and considered that this concept would be of general appeal to audiences of all ages, but would not be of primary appeal to children under 12.

“The Board considered that the tone and delivery of the voiceover in combination with the music was more likely to appeal to an adult and was not directed primarily to children.”

Based on its view the ad was not aimed primarily at children the ASB dismissed the complaint.

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