Blog: Food Advertising Unit

Catherine Sleep | 8 July 2003

Talking of adverts, I had breakfast today with representatives of the Food Advertising Unit, part of the Advertising Association. Their stakeholders include broadcast media organisations as well as advertisers and agencies. They’re doing a lot of research into the impact of media on consumption patterns of children’s food, a hugely topical subject right now.

Together with the FAU representatives, the group of food, health and parenting journalists sitting around the breakfast table engaged in a “lively debate” about the rights and wrongs of different marketing campaigns and their impact on market size and share. As the chitchat rumbled on over a bowl of extremely tasty raspberries, I mentioned how surprised I’d been when Cadbury recently launched its highly controversial campaign exchanging chocolate wrappers for school sports equipment. To me it had been an exercise in irony too far, destined to provoke scorn and accusations of hypocrisy and really a bit daft – regular readers will recall I said as much in my weekly newsletter (issue 166).

However, FAU director Jeremy Preston pointed out that, since 4000 schools had signed up for it, maybe I’d missed the point. Perhaps so – it would be good to hear from Cadbury about the success or otherwise of the campaign a year or two down the line.

Food Advertising Unit


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