Nestle chastised for promoting dangerous behaviour

By By Amy Kellow | 23 August 2012

The Advertising Standards Bureau has upheld a complaint against Nestle for a Milo radio ad, ruling it promotes unsafe behaviour for children.

The spot, part of Milo's 'Play' campaign, portrayed a scenario between a mother and son where the son was relucant to wear safety gear before engaging in sport. The mother offered him a glass of Milo, to which he agreed, before closing with the tagline 'Milo. The official drink of play'.

It was aiming to highlight the importance of a calcium in helping to develop strong bones.

The complaintant said: "As parents, we do everything we can to keep our kids safe. The law requires kids to wear helmets on bikes and horses so when you have an ad that goes against the law, as parents we have to explain that Milo isn't going to protect your head when the kid goes flying off the bike."

The watchdog argued the lack of visuals in the spot caused ambiguity around whether the boy did or did not wear appropriate safety gear, and that the perceived health benefits of drinking Milo could be mistaken for an alternative to wearing safety gear.

The watchdog declared the ad a breach of Section 2.6 of the Code, which states: "Advertising or marketing communications shall not depict material contrary to the prevailing community standards on healthy and safety".

Nestle has since responded and agreed to comply with the watchdogs ruling. "We would never intentionally encourage any activity that is unsafe, nor endorse any activity without sufficient safety precautions, and did not intend for this advertisement to be taken to suggest that Milo is in any way a substitute for protective equipment, rather that Milo is a nutritional way to help support the development of strong bones.

"We are disappointed that the Board has found the advertisement contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety, and as a result of this determination, have ceased use of this existing script.

"We will ensure that any future communications are in line with this determination."

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