Kellogg’s Coco Pops ‘inadvertently’ place ad during children’s TV

A complaint submitted by WA Heart Foundation argued that a Coco Pops advertisement that featured on broadcast on free-to-air TV was targeted at children therefore in breach of the regulations. The advertisement featured a box of Coco Pops that came to life in a shopping trolley, transforming into an animated steering wheel ‘driving’ the trolley to get milk off the shelf and back to the checkout, finishing with the memorable ‘Coco Pops and milk. Just like a chocolate milkshake. Only crunchy’. The complainant argued that the ad was targeted at children due to its theme, use of animation, simplistic language and the product itself. Furthermore the ad was placed on TV during programs that were aimed at children.

Kellogg’s responded using the ‘nostalgia’ excuse that the ad was targeted at mums, as it would ‘appeal to mum’s sense of nostalgia’ and ‘remind mums that Coco Pops and milk are made for each other’. Kellogg’s also submitted that the animated Coco Pops steering wheel and hand wasn’t actually an ‘animation per se’ but were real cereal pieces that were duplicated to create an action sequence. The Board agreed with Kellogg’s that it wasn’t primarily aimed at children because shopping is a theme that would not appeal to children; however it was interesting to note that a minority of the Board did feel that the ad would have strong appeal.

The advertisement was broadcast during programs that would attract high number of children, however Kellogg’s claimed that the audience share from children was almost always <35%. In those programs that had a more than 35%, Kellogg’s insinuated that the data must be incorrect and argued that it was only a small percentage and it was simply a mistake. However the Board did uphold the complaint based on the placement of the ad during programs containing child themes.

Case Number: 0117/17

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