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Named and shamed: parents’ picks for worst 2016 ads promoting unhealthy food to kids

By Rachel O'Regan |


Named and shamed: parents’ picks for worst 2016 ads promoting unhealthy food to kids

  • Cancer Council NSW and Parents’ Voice have named and shamed the .
  • Unsurprisingly, Coca-Cola and Nestlé’s MILO take home the top gongs!
  • But it’s not all bad – healthy food and fitness campaigns are making their mark…

Most parents will know the struggle of the mid-supermarket-aisle tantrum when Junior spots the latest colourful, cartoon-emblazoned junky snack.

know it, too. That’s why the network has partnered with Cancer Council NSW to name and shame the worst 2016 marketing campaigns aimed at getting kids to eat unhealthy food.

With one in four Aussie kids overweight or obese, and teenage boys eating up to 38 teaspoons of sugar a day, these tactics are important to be aware of. Let’s take a look at the “winners”…

Pester power.

These nominees feature “techniques that appeal to children, leading to them nagging their parents for unhealthy foods”.

Runners-up: The starred roly-poly cartoon animals, The Natural Confectionary Company made its , and Arnott’s encouraged people of all ages to compare their “.

Winner: The by Coca-Cola depicts a young boy’s idolisation for his Coke-swigging older brother.

Keys2words – Named and shamed: parents’ picks for worst 2016 ads promoting unhealthy food to kids

Digital ninja.

This category is dedicated to brands who reach out to children through digital media.

Runners-up: McDonald’s Snapchat lens gets a dishonourable mention, as does Streets’ World of Paddle Pop online game (you can familiarise yourself with the ice-creams straight on the platform).

Winner: The , which comes with a 450g tin of sugary MILO, continues to push the brand as a product for sporty kids. The band tracks activity and nutrition, letting parents know their kids’ “energy balance”. Hey, we’ve heard that before

Keys2words – Named and shamed: parents’ picks for worst 2016 ads promoting unhealthy food to kids

Foul sport.

Companies that use sport to promote their unhealthy products. Yep, there were a lot of these for Rio 2016!

Runners-up: MILO once again promoted the sports angle with a , Macca’s offered kids , and official Olympics sponsor Coca-Cola .

Winner: Powerade, also owned by Coke, with their disturbingly blue drink.

Keys2words – Named and shamed: parents’ picks for worst 2016 ads promoting unhealthy food to kids

The real winners…

Thankfully, some companies seem to be getting the message and chose to promote healthy eating and exercise in a much more savoury way. “Fame” award winners include campaign, and the ad.

As we head into 2017, we really hope to see more companies making a difference! And as for the rest, you can be sure we’ll be campaigning against them.

What examples of junk food marketing to children have you seen this year?

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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