SHREK is top of the hit list for a group of health-conscious parents who say the animated character is encouraging children to pester for junk food.
Consumer advocate group The Parents Jury believes the number of unhealthy food products adopting the green ogre as a marketing tool was "out of control".
After sifting through nominations for poor food marketing campaigns from the 2700-strong Parents Jury membership, the group's trial by jury panel found food products linked with Shrek the Third were the worst example of junk food marketing aimed at children.
Do you think Shrek has been fairly targeted? What's your view on other fast food campaigns that target children?
"Major supermarkets have jam-packed their shelves with Shrek-branded food products, including sugary cereals, chocolate, lollies, chocolate spread and sweet desserts,"
"In some stores big green footprints even guide a path from the front doors to a section of the store dedicated entirely to Shrek products and promotions."
The trial by jury panel agreed the extensive marketing of the film on numerous junk food products actively encouraged pester power and made it hard for parents to resist buying the products.
It's tough enough for parents to limit the amount of junk food marketing their kids are exposed to but it's impossible to steer clear of it when Shrek products adorn an entire wall of a supermarket.
Using a lovable, animated character like Shrek to endorse unhealthy products sent the wrong message to children.
Given the current childhood obesity crisis, it's amazing just how many food companies are using this movie promotion to market nutritionally poor products.
It is even more amazing that the makers of Shrek are choosing to be associated with such unhealthy food.
Many products also provided extra inducement to children in the form of free Shrek stickers.
The Australian Association of National Advertisers today encouraged The Parents Jury to test their complaint with the industry watchdog.
The industry's code prohibited the use of "pester power''.
The AANA have a code that rules against pester power so they are quite free to register their concerns or complaints under that, and if they are correct it will be removed.
The Advertising Standards Bureau would consider any complaints
Certainly the industry is moving against pester power and (The Parents Jury) are certainly invited to get in touch with the standards bureau as fast as they like.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
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