A television advertisement for Kellogg’s Coco-Pops featured a mother checking the fitting of her daughter’s shoes and adjusting the hem of her son’s school trousers. The children are then shown eating Coco Pops at the breakfast table. A bowl of Coco Pops is shown with milk from a jug being poured into the bowl. The bowl is then shown split in half with one side of the bowl accompanied by the text “Mmm Chocolatey”, while the other half is accompanied by the text “Calcium, Vit D, Iron”. The text falls into the bowl and the two halves of the bowl join together. The voiceover of the advertisement states:
“It's amazing what Mums know. We know half a size too big is the perfect fit and we know how important vitamins and nutrients are for growing kids. But what might surprise some Mums is that there are two sides to every bowl of Kellogg's Coco Pops, the chocolatey side kids love and the essential nutrients that are so important to Mums. With iron, calcium and Vitamin D and 6 B Vitamins, a bowl of Kellogg's Coco Pops is a great way to keep kids and mums happy at breakfast time.
There's more to Kellogg's Coco Pops than you think."
The onscreen text states: “Calcium and Vitamin D are needed for normal growth and development of bone in children. Enjoy as part of a varied diet and active lifestyle.
The B Vitamins group includes - B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and B12. 30g serving of Coco Pops provides 12% of the GDA of sugar.”
The complainant considered that it was wrong to say that Coco Pops were great for breakfast. She considered that it was promoting the consumption of ‘wrong’ food on a daily basis and that the product should be classified as a treat food.
Kellogg’s said that they took complaints of this nature very seriously and that they had robust measures in place to ensure that their advertising materials complied with the relevant advertising codes and regulations.
They said that their advertising was based on the idea that a mother knows what is best for her child, including food choices at breakfast time. They said that the advertisement explained that Coco Pops provided a tasty breakfast that children would enjoy, whilst providing the reassurance for parents that it contained beneficial nutrients.
They said that the vitamins and minerals contained in Coco Pops was highlighted in the voiceover on two occasions, each of which was accompanied by an appropriate text disclaimer as follows:
1: VO “We know how important vitamins and minerals are for growing kids” was accompanied by a disclaimer which stated:
“Calcium and Vitamin D are needed for normal growth and development of bone in children. Enjoy as part of a varied diet and active lifestyle.”
2: VO “There are two sides to every bowl of Kellogg’s Coco Pops, the chocolatey side kids love and the essential nutrients so important to mums. With iron, calcium, Vitamin D and 6 B Vitamins, a bowl of Kellogg’s Coco Pops is a great way to keep kids and mums happy at breakfast time” was accompanied by the disclaimer:
“The B Vitamins group includes – B1, B2, B3, B9 and B12.”
They also said that the nutrients were further highlighted in the end frame of the advertisement. They stated that the nutrition and health claims were authorised claims made in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods. They also said that the health claim was paired on screen with the statement “Enjoy as part of a varied diet and active lifestyle”. They said that this indicated the importance of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, as per Article 10 2(a) of the Regulation. In accordance with this Article, they said that it was possible to make “source of [vitamin/mineral]” claims.
In addition to the requirements above, they stated that they used other methods of communicating the importance of a varied diet and active lifestyle, such as featuring a family breakfast scene which included a balanced breakfast of cereal, fruit and milk, which further promoted a responsible diet and lifestyle and the advertisement also included the disclaimer: “30g serving of Coco Pops provides 12% of the GDA of sugar” and that had provided transparent information regarding the sugar content of Coco Pops for the consumer.
Kellogg’s have also stated that the advertisement was not addressed to children and was neither aired in children’s programming nor was it aimed towards a child audience either in content, style or message.
They also referred to the fact that they were signatory of the EU Pledge(i) , and said that they fully appreciated the sensitivity around HFSS (ii) products and advertising to children and the importance of communicating the benefits of a varied diet and active lifestyle. They also said that they were exceptionally conscious of their responsibility to consumers in this regard.
(i) The EU Pledge is a voluntary initiative by leading food and beverage companies to change the way they advertise to children. This is a response from industry leaders to calls made by the EU institutions for the food industry to use commercial communications to support parents in making the right diet and lifestyle choices for their children.
(ii) Foods high in fat salt or sugar.
Complaint not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the nutritional claims were authorised claims and that the product had been shown in the context of a balanced diet, together with information provided on the percentage of sugar of the GDA(iii) in a 30g serving. While they noted that the complainant considered that the product was a treat product, they did not consider that the advertising was in breach of Sections 2.9, 2.22 and 5.9 of the Code.
(iii) Guideline Daily Amounts
No further action required.