For the second time in two weeks Kellogg's has been forced to withdraw two TV advertisements after a complaint from the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) was upheld by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).
The ASB found the two variants of Kellogg's LCM "fun facts" advertisements, featuring animated dinosaurs, snails, children's voices and fantasy themes, were directed primarily to children and were therefore in breach of the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative (RCMI). As a signatory to the RCMI code, Kellogg's undertakes not to advertise products to children under 12 years unless they represent healthy dietary choices.
The ruling comes just two weeks after Kellogg's was forced to withdraw a TV advertisement for cereal brand Coco Pops after a similar complaint by the OPC was supported by the ASB.
According to Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the OPC, the result is a significant win for children and parents alike.
"Kellogg's is becoming a 'cereal' offender. As we pointed out with our previous complaint of Coco Pops, LCM Original Bars are very high in sugar, saturated fat and kilojoules (1720kj/100gms). They definitely do not represent a healthy or nutritious choice for children," said Ms Martin.
"We know the power and influence of advertisements using cartoon characters and fantasy on children, as do parents. These ads create pester power, something which undermines the efforts of parents and educators. This flagrant marketing to children is irresponsible at a time when children's diets are so poor, leading to increasing rates of overweight and obesity.
"This is the second time in as many weeks the ASB has upheld these complaints by the OPC against Kellogg's, and is a really encouraging result," she said.
The OPC complaint outlined why the advertisement breached the RCMI:
"Kellogg's argument that the use of fantasy was not directed to children because fantasy is common in media targeting adults such as the R-rated show ‘Game of Thrones', is laughable. It's good to see the ASB taking a stand."