Marketing to kids was easy until the parents found their voices and told everyone it’s not ok to make junk food and soft drink seem fun and exciting to the youngin’s.
This week, online food and activity advocacy group ‘Parents’ Voice’ have held their annual ‘Fame and Shame Awards’ in Melbourne and have thrown shade at the king of junk food advertising – you guessed it – McDonald’s.
The poor buggers rounded out the awards with the ‘Worst of the Decade’ crown, pinned as a serial offender over ten years of Fame and Shame.
Macca’s also nabbed the titles of ‘Pester Power’, with its minions Happy Meal ads causing kids to nag the most, and ‘Digital Ninja’, for using digital games and social media marketing that promotes unhealthy food and drinks to the kiddies.
The Parents’ Voice campaign manager Alice Pryor expressed frustration that the fast food chain has not listened to the demands of parents, only throwing an apple bag their way to appease advocates.
“It’s very disappointing that so little progress has been made in the last decade,” she said in a statement.
Both McDonald’s and breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s have been nominated every year since the awards began.
“Kellogg’s, to give them some credit, have been attempting to clean up their act a little bit, and so for this year they’ve only been nominated in one category,” Pryor told 774 ABC Melbourne.
Other brands bathing in a stench of shame this week include Coca-Cola Life, with the ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ award for the use of health claims on children’s food making it appear healthier than it is, and KFC’s Big Bash League sponsorship, taking out the ‘Foul Sport’ award that uses sport to promote unhealthy food and drinks to influence children.
Parents Voice did name a few winners, however, that continue to call out those in the shame category.
ABC’s The Weekly and The Gruen Transfer won the title of ‘Media Spotlight’ for highlighting junk food marketing to children, while the coveted Parents’ Choice Award, bestowed upon marketing or advertising campaigns which promote healthy eating to children, went to Nutrition Australia and The Wiggles for its collaboration on the Pick Bright, Feel Right campaign.