The Latest

FACT: 73% of children exceed the WHO guidelines for added sugar intake

FACT: 47% children aged 2-18 years consume a sugary drink on a daily basis

FACT: Children aged 9-13 years consume 7 kg of sugar from sugary drinks alone per year

FACT: 1 in 2 children aged 12 years have decay in their adult teeth

These are all shocking statistics released by Parents’ Voice as part of their new campaign to call on fast food restaurants to serve water as a default with their kids’ meals. For too long, fast food companies have exploited the self-regulations by using healthier choices such as water in their advertising material to demonstrate how ‘responsible’ they are, however sugary drinks are still the default offered in-store.

Parents’ Voice have launched a new campaign calling for parents (or concerned citizens) to join and add their voice to the initiative. A list of the major fast food chains that currently serve sugary drinks with their kids’ meals are outlined with a further action asking parents to tell the offending fast food chains to make it #waterwiththat via Facebook.

On a positive note, the campaign lists the fast food companies that offer water as the default drink, however that list is short with only one company currently offering water with their kids’ meals. Please join with Parents’ Voice to make this list grow and help our children have a healthier future!

To add your voice to the #waterwiththat campaign go to and sign up today.

Parents' Voice #waterwiththat campaign graphic


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A complaint submitted by a Junkbusters community member was found in breach of the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI). The concerned complainant came across an interactive digital billboard advertising Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs in a Sydney shopping mall.

The advertisement involved an interactive game that comprised of colourful images and childlike music that required the user to touch moving eggs to reveal a surprise toy and collect points. There was an age-gate disclaimer ‘by touching play you are confirming you are 14 years or over’ however this could be easily overridden.

Ferrero argued that the Interactive Panel was targeted at adults who had kids aged 3-8 years, despite the theme, visuals and simplistic language used being very childlike. They stated the aim was merely to catch the attention of adult shoppers and act as a reminder and that engagement with the game was not expected. Which one would question, why not just have a static billboard rather than invest in the expensive task of developing a game?

A further argument was put forward from Ferrero stating that the Billboard had a lens installed that scanned biometric data and that only 5% of those who engaged with the Billboard were children. This is a daunting prospect, as most people would be unaware their data is being collected and is providing powerful information to food marketers. On the flip-side, maybe this technology could be used to ‘lock out’ children from playing these advergames?Kinder Surprise interactive billboard close up

In previous complaints, Billboards were disregarded a ‘medium’ that is directed primarily at children. However, the Board acknowledged that the RCMI was last updated in 2014 and that the nature of advertising is rapidly evolving, therefore the interactive content of the ad was more like an interactive game which falls within the scope of the RCMI.

The Board agreed that the ad content was clearly targeted at small children. Ferrero submitted that the game itself promotes physical activity as they would need to jump to touch the moving eggs, therefore not in breach of the RCMI. However common sense prevailed and the Board ruled that Kinder Surprise chocolate does not represent healthier dietary choices therefore upheld the complaint.

Complaint reference number: 0347/17

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