The ad watchdog has dismissed two cases against Kellogg's following complaints its Be Natural and LCM brands were offensive towards mothers-in-laws and sent the wrong message to children respectively.
The first case was regarding a print ad for Kellogg's 'Be Natural' cereal bars. It read "We believe mother nature is like a mother-in-law. Not worth messing with". The ad was part of the company's broader 'More of the Good Stuff' campaign.
One consumer told the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) the "offensive" ad "ridiculed" mother-in-laws and portrayed them as "third-class citizens" .
Kellogg's refuted the discriminatory claims and claimed the ad "encouraged consumers to respect mother nature and mother-in-laws as they are". It argued the execution was intended to be light-hearted and persuade consumers to eat less processed food.
The watchdog ruled the ad showed mother nature and mother-in-laws in a "positive" manner and did not discriminate or vilify women, and dismissed the case.
The second case was regarding a television ad for Kellogg's LCM's snack bars, which showed a young school girl as the centre of her peers' attention because she was eating the bar. It promoted the food as "the sure-fire lunchbox hit".
One consumer told the ad watchdog it was a breach of its Food and Beverage Marketing to Children codes because it "suggested that parents can make their children happy, popular and the envy of their friends by putting an LCM bar in their lunchbox". The complainant also argued it was aimed directly at children under 12 and promoted the consumption of an "unhealthy dietary choice".
Kellogg's said it wasn't aimed at children as it had an adult voice over and was intended to resonate with parents of school-aged children.
The ASB ruled that while the ad would be "attractive" to children, it was aimed at parents and didn't "undermine perceptions of a balanced diet". It also said it didn't promote excess consumption and thus moved to dismiss the complaint.
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