Bakers Delight weak regret
A colourful back-to-school promotion by Bakers Delight received an ‘F’ on their report card from the Advertising Standards Board (ASB). A complaint was made about the billboard advertisements promoting sugary finger buns covered in M&M’s as an adequate solution to school lunches. The complainant argued that the promotion specifically targeted children and that bread covered in sugary icing and lollies should not be promoted and normalised as an everyday lunch item, especially in a time where Australia is facing an obesity crisis. They added that it is irresponsible and unethical for Bakers Delight to market such products to children and their carers.
Bakers Delight responded saying that the advertisement did not break any rules as it was aimed at busy parents, was only for a limited time, the products were designed for sharing and that no nutrition claim was made. Interestingly they stated that the finger buns were ‘mini’ therefore designed to be more appropriate size for children to consume – which is as good as admitting that it was aimed at children.
The complaint was considered under the AANA Children’s Code and the Food Code. The ASB agreed that the advertisement was not directed at children despite noting that it was attractive to children due to the colourful childlike graphics, school lunchbox theme and coloured M&M’s finger buns. However they found it did breach the Food Code as it promoted the products as ‘your lunchbox solution’ therefore undermining the promotion of a healthy balanced diet.
Bakers Delight response to the decision was that they were ‘surprised’ and the campaign was a limited-time promotion and ‘for this reason the campaign has finished and will not be repeated anyway’. Therein lies yet another issue with the self-regulations, there are no strong repercussions for the advertisers if a breach is made and due to the lengthy time to process a complaint, the campaign ship has sailedand finished its intended run and damage has been done.
ASB case number: 0072/17