Patties Foods busted for advertising party pies in the movie Frozen

The Advertising Standards Board have upheld a complaint about an ad for party pies that was shown on TV during the movie Frozen. The ad featured a boy dressed as an astronaut enjoying party pies with his family.

Patties argued that the ad was targeted at grocery buyers with 5-17 year old children and that party pies are a food that brings three generations of a family together. “The adults are enjoying themselves and clearly looking forward to having a Patties Party Pie as much as Daniel”, the company said. Defending the lack of physical activity in the ad, Patties said that Daniel had been “playing in his bedroom”.

The Board ruled that the ad wasn’t directed to children because the inclusion of a child in an advertisement does not make the advertisement attractive to children, the astronauts costume was homemade and not linked to a specific program or licensed character and the space related theme was not directed primarily to children.

However, the board found that despite a children’s audience of only 17% of the total audience, the Frozen movie was directed primarily to children and so the ad appeared in media directed primarily to children. As party pies are not a healthy dietary choice, the Board found the ad breached the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative. In their response, Patties said they would work further with their media buyer. Under the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative Patties have said that none of their media is, or will be, directly targeted at children under the age of 12.

Advertising Standards Board Case report 0511/15
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