Kelloggs advert draws criticism

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rice krispies

Cereal company Kelloggs has again come under fire for its UK
advertising of core brands, re-igniting the debate over promoting
products to children.

Consumer group Which? has lodged a complaint with British watchdog the Advertising Standards Agency about television adverts for Kelloggs' Rice Krispies.

Which? has been pushing for healthier options in the cereals market for some time and produced a damning report last month showing high levels of fat, sugar and salt in cereals targeted primarily at children.

The Kelloggs advert in question shows a box of Rice Krispies next to a bag labelled 'rice' and tells viewers there is: "nothing simpler than the single grain of rice used to make each Rice Krispie"

It continues: "kids can get a lot out of something simple."

Chief policy advisor at Which, Sue Davies said: "We believe this is misleading advertising by Kelloggs. It focuses on the rice used to make Rice Krispies but cleverly forgets to mention the added extras of sugar and salt. In fact, the second ingredient on the packaging is sugar followed by salt."

"This advert sends a confusing message to parents and suggests that Rice Krispies are healthier than is actually the case. We think this is yet another example of the way that some food companies persist in using irresponsible marketing techniques to target parents and children."

"We hope that the ASA will uphold our complaint - but we wish Kelloggs would act more responsibly in the first place."

According to Which? Rice Krispies contain 10 per cent sugar and a salt content of 1.65 per cent salt.

The cereal maker, who own the Frosties and Coco Pops brands, said the salt and sugar ratings were based on those contained in 100g of cereal which gave an unrealistic impression as cereal was not generally consumed in these amounts.

In addition, Kelloggs say it clearly displays the guideline daily amounts of salt, fat and sugar on the front of all its products to inform consumers.

Managing director of Kelloggs UK, Tony Palmer said in an open letter to Which?: "We remain committed to educating consumers on the importance of a balanced diet, an active lifestyle and the role breakfast cereals can play in this - misleading reports such as that issued by Witch? only serve to confuse consumers and cloud the real facts and issues."

This is the second time in as many months that Kelloggs has been criticised for misleading advertising in relation to children's advertising.

In August the ASA told Kelloggs to change its advert after the agency disagreed with the basis for the company's claim that eating a breakfast of Cornflakes made children more energised and alert.

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