UK confectioner Swizzels Matlow has made amendments to its website following a complaint that some of the content could encourage poor nutritional habits in children.
Swizzels Matlow was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to remove parts of its website following a complaint from the Children’s Food Campaign.
The ASA said the content breached the advertising code by using cartoon character Scooby Doo to target children of primary school age.
The site featured a virtual area called ‘Swizzels Town’, which the Children’s Food Campaign said was designed to appeal to children. It added that children interacting with the site were more likely to eat the promoted products, to do so more frequently and in greater amounts.
The ASA upheld the complaint and said sections of the website were found to be in breach of the code and therefore must be amended or withdrawn.
Jeremy Dee, director at Swizzels Matlow, said the company has removed “all reference” to Scooby Doo and an online game on its website.
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However, Dee added Swizzels has “never included licensed characters on any above the line advertising”.
“We firmly believe that our confectionery should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and our products should be viewed as occasional treats for children and adults alike,” he said.