The Advertising Standards Authority has decided not to pursue a formal regulatory inquiry into the matter after a complaint, but health activists have accused the food company of “irresponsibly” advertising families on the channel Joe Wicks Body Coach YouTube.
At the height of the lockdown in April, an “pre-program” announcement for Pringles appeared to an undetermined number of hundreds of thousands of children (and their parents) who connect to PE with Joe online every morning of the week.
Health campaign groups Action on Salt and Sugar and Children’s’s Food Campaign urge all food and beverage companies to refrain from advertising any food or drink high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) before 9 p.m. on all media platforms during the coronavirus pandemic.
They say it should be until the government can go back to its plan to introduce a 9 p.m. television and online watershed on junk food advertising – part of its obesity plan which have been discontinued while Public Health England (PHE) is focusing on the fight against Covid-19.
Under current government rules, no brand of food and drink is allowed to promote “less healthy” products on children’s television or any media channel, with an audience of over 25% of those under 16 years old.
However, the shortcomings of online platforms and social media, as well as for listening to family TV during peak hours, mean that junk food brands and digital marketers may currently find other tactics to attract children.
Barbara Feedther, spokesperson for the Campaign to Feed Children, said: “A pop, a jump and a jump is a misleading and counterproductive message for the industry. Placing this ad directly before Joe’s hugely popular daily children’s physical education class is a complete betrayal of his work and very insensitive and irresponsible marketing. Children don’t need more salt, more saturated fat, more sugar, more excess calories that are pushed to them during a pandemic, or even at any time.
“Children are even more of a captive audience during this lockout, and we are extremely concerned that they will continue to be advertised for unhealthy foods like this one. The food industry and government should focus on building people’s health and resilience, not making them fragile. “
Kellogg’s said in a statement, “It was not our intention to advertise Pringles to a younger audience. We pay attention to where we place our advertising because we know we have a responsibility to do the right thing.
“Joe’s fitness channel has always been aimed at adults, which was the case when we placed our ad on it (reserved March 18). Its audience recently changed with the launch of “PE With Joe”.
“As soon as we learned that their channel’s audience has changed, we’ve taken steps to remove our ad and have put in place measures to avoid repetition. “