ASA bans Kinder online games and websites for kids

RCPCH's Dr Max Davie says "this is another example of food manufacturers targeting impressionable children through advertising", and that restrictions must go further by protecting children from junk food adverts online and during on-demand services too.

The Children’s Food Campaign has won a landmark ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to stop Kinder targeting adverts to children via its Kindernauts website, Magic Kinder website, app and YouTube films.

The ruling by the ASA Council agreed that the sites and advergames had broken rules set by the Committee of Advertising Practices (CAP) on the promotion of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products to children under 16 years.
The campaign group says the new ruling sets a groundbreaking precedent for future brand advertising and use of child-friendly cartoon characters and toys by confectionery, snacking or fast food companies, as the Kinder websites and advergames had created sub-brands which heavily featured the toys and characters associated with Kinder Surprise chocolate products.

In response to the ruling, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“This is another example of food manufactures targeting impressionable children through advertising. Levels of severe obesity in children aged 10 to 11 years have reached the highest point since records began and it is these kinds of acts that contribute to these startling statistics.

"The Government has been bold when it comes to tackling childhood obesity and made a number of commitments in chapter two of its Childhood Obesity Plan, including a consultation on proposals to ban advertising of foods high in salt, sugar and fat on television before 9pm. As Kinder has demonstrated, it isn’t just television that is being used to target children. We therefore hope to see Government go one step further and introduce restrictions which will protect children from harmful junk food marketing online and during on-demand services too.”