26 Nov, 2013 Last updated: 16 Oct, 2015

Risking the wrath of teenage girls throughout Australia, advocacy group Parents' Voice today named the Coles ‘One Direction’ campaign as winner of its Shame award for Pester Power.

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Risking the wrath of teenage girls throughout Australia, advocacy group The Parents' Jury has named the Coles ‘One Direction’ campaign as winner of its Shame award for Pester Power.

Tapping into the popularity of the boy band, the Coles competition encouraged shoppers to try to win tickets to an exclusive One Direction concert through purchasing a range of mostly junk food products.

Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager, Alice Pryor said parents are growing increasingly concerned about marketing campaigns that focus on children to drive brand loyalty and increase junk food sales.

“The One Direction promotion was a missed opportunity for Coles. Instead of encouraging healthy eating, Coles partnered with brands such as Cadbury’s, Coca-Cola and Pringles to drive the competition.

“The Coles and One Direction promotion received the most nominations from our members and was unanimously voted the winner by our expert panel. They felt it epitomised the Pester Power award by appealing directly to children, encouraging them to persuade parents to buy unhealthy products for a desired return.”

The Fame and Shame Awards also delivered a smack in the face to KFC’s ‘Snack in the face’ app, awarding it the Digital Ninja award. The app featured a game where players win vouchers which can be redeemed for a range of KFC snacks or can be passed onto friends through social media.

Mother of two, and Parents’ Voice member, Lucy Westerman is frustrated by the increasingly sophisticated and devious methods companies use to target children and young people.

“KFC branding and ‘The Colonel’ are all over this app. It’s fun to play, colourful and rewarding with incentives for kids and their friends to visit their nearest KFC. Encouraging kids to snack is entirely the wrong message and this is an insidious way of keeping kids coming back to a junk food brand.”

Milo was awarded this year’s Smoke and Mirrors award for its ‘Official Drink of Play’ TV commercial featuring popular TV personality Shelly Craft. Parents felt that the advertisement positioned the product in a way that made it appear healthier than it actually is.

In some good news for Cricket Australia, the advocacy group applauded their ‘Play Cricket’ TV commercial and awarded it the Parents’ Choice award. Parents found it a refreshing change to see sport promoted with no branded links to unhealthy products.

The commercial promotes physical activity and shows that cricket can be played almost anywhere, encouraging families to get out and get active together.

In its ninth year, Fame and Shame remains as important as ever in highlighting the failure of industry self-regulation. Alice Pryor from The Parents’ Jury said: “Considering 1 in 4 Australian children is obese or overweight, The Parents’ Jury believes unhealthy food promotion is an area that clearly needs to be controlled.

Traditional marketing methods like TV and radio are now supplemented by the increasingly influential, and largely unregulated, marketing reach of digital and social media. It is vital that government, industry and parents work together to restrict levels of unhealthy food marketing to children and young people.”

The 2013 Fame and Shame Awards:

Pester Power: awarded to the food marketing campaign that uses techniques which appeal to children, leading to them nagging their parents for unhealthy foods.

Awarded to Coles ‘One Direction’ Campaign.

Parents’ Choice: congratulates an advertisement that promotes healthy living to children in a fun and appealing way.

Awarded to Cricket Australia for ‘Play Cricket’.

Digital Ninja: given to the brand that uses digital media in the most obvious way to target children, gaining their attention; driving active participation in the brand and encouraging pester power.

Awarded to KFC ‘Snack in the face’.

Smoke and Mirrors: for the use of health claims on children’s food making it appear healthier than it is.
Awarded to Milo, ‘The Official Drink of Play’ TV commercial


Notes to Editor

• Parents’ Voice is an online network of over 5,000 parents who are interested in improving the food and physical activity environments of Australian children.

• It’s supported by Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia – Vic, VicHealth, YMCA Victoria and the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society

About the Fame and Shame Awards

Parents’ Voice Fame and Shame Awards aim to raise awareness of the persuasive and misleading techniques that advertisers use to promote unhealthy foods and drinks to children, and to recognise the advertisements that promote healthy lifestyles to children in a fun and appealing way.

The Awards give Australian parents a chance to have their say about the food marketing techniques they believe are targeting their children.

Members of The Parents’ Jury have been nominating examples of the best and worst children's food marketing campaigns all year.

An expert panel of parents, academics and advertisers worked alongside concerned members of Parents' Voice to name the best and worst examples of food advertising aimed at children.