McDonald’s, Milo and Coles among the ‘winners’ at the Fame and Shame Awards 2018.

For 14 years, Parents’ Voice has been naming and shaming the ads that blatantly target kids. Spokesperson Alice Pyror reveals this year’s worst offenders.

Parents’ Voice Fame & Shame Awards raise awareness of the marketing techniques that the food industry uses to promote unhealthy foods and drinks to children, and to recognise the campaigns that promote healthy food and activity to children in a fun and appealing way.

Nestlé has taken out the shameful Smoke and Mirrors category in this year’s Fame and Shame Awards, narrowly taking the crown from previous ‘winner’ Kellogg’s. Now in its 14th year, the Fame and Shame Awards highlight the worst of junk food marketing and celebrate those promoting a healthy lifestyle to kids.

Nestlé’s misleading campaign called for children to ‘add more to milk’ with MILO, neglecting to mention that it contains 9g of added sugar. “Nestlé is hardly committed to contributing to healthier futures for our kids” said Alice Pryor, Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager. “Behind the Smoke and Mirrors, MILO only gets a 1.5 Health Star Rating without milk”.

McDonald’s and their ‘Happy Land’ app received the Digital Ninja award for being the digital media campaign most obviously targeting children and driving unhealthy participation in the brand. “Using popular SnapChat-like features such as digital masks, in conjunction with featuring the animated character ‘Happy’, the app is designed to increase children’s brand affinity with McDonald’s,” said Ms Pryor.

The Coles Little Shop campaign claimed the Pester Power award for 2018. Featuring discretionary products that appeal to children, including Nutella, Tim Tam and Oak chocolate milk, the campaign encourages children to nag their parents to purchase these unhealthy mini food replicas.

Nicole French, a parent member of Parents’ Voice, said: “The level of pestering the Coles Little Shop campaign encouraged in children was almost unprecedented. Through play with these products, our children learn unhealthy habits that may last a life time”.

The Foul Sport award was presented to PepsiCo for its Gatorade ‘The Game is Never Over’ campaign. The campaign used sporting identities, including AFL star Scott Pendlebury, to promote Gatorade to children.

“Parents are fed up with sports drinks such as Gatorade marketing to kids via their sporting heroes,” Ms French continued. “With nine teaspoons (36g) of added sugar per 600ml bottle – three more teaspoons of added sugar than the recommended daily intake for adults – Gatorade is more likely to lead to weight gain than sporting prowess.”

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said that this type of unhealthy food marketing is undermining efforts by parents, schools and communities to encourage healthy habits.

”We know marketing works; it directly impacts what children eat and what they pester their parents for. Today’s awards expose the sneaky tactics big brands continue to employ in order to manipulate kids into eating their products. Whether it’s using fun, colourful packaging, or targeting kids online through emotionally persuasive and immersive games, the industry has no shame and will always put profits ahead of kids’ health,” Ms Martin said.

“When around 40% of the energy in the average Australian child’s diet comes from junk food, it’s time for the Government to stop leaving industry to make its own sham rules.”

For the second year running Coca-Cola was awarded a dishonourable mention, along with their partner, The Salvation Army, for teaming up to bring the Coke Christmas Truck on tour through Australia with its planned conclusion at Sydney’s Carols in the Domain.

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  • My kids love the Coles Little Shop, but I don’t buy any of these items, except of the Messy Monkeys range every now and then.


  • I think it is about time that people realize how marketing works, it can be subtle or in your face, but remember not everyone can ignore it, some are fooled by it and believe their products are healthy and give them to their children, this is the problem, lower educated or lower income people will always buy these products because they are cheaper and believe they are healthy.


  • I think it’s up to us as parents to make sure what our kids can or cannot have. What they are actually doing is promoting these companies by mentioning them at all.


  • Another issue that is getting abit silly and out of control.


  • Seriously? I think this is all a load of poo. I actually really loved the mini shop campaign. In all honesty if you teach your kids the right things none of these campaigns should have any negative affect.


  • Interesting perspective. None of the above really bother me. As a parent, it’s for me to manage.


  • I think everything in moderation is the best approach.


  • I rather have my kids having a packet of TimTam’s or a pot of Nutella or Milo from Coles Little Shops, then having a pack of TimTam’s or a pot of Nutella or Milo for real !!
    We actually could use the Little Shop figures to educate our children.


  • At no point during collecting the little shop did my children ask to purchase any of the actual products. Not Nutella, not milo, none of them. The little shop had no bearing whatsoever on what we ate as a family, what we cooked, or what we purchased. In fact, we hardly have any of the products or items in our home at all!!! When we would go past the actual item in coles, my toddler would say “look mummy! Little shop!!” But never once asked for the item and until this article I wouldn’t have thought it was an issue. Maybe if the little shop items are regularly consumed, they would remind children of them (such as a Nutella sandwich?) and cause them to want that particular food but yeah as a family we didn’t have this experience. We enjoyed collecting very different interesting little collectables and look forward to the Christmas range :)


  • Milo is mentioned in the article. They are sponsoring special programs to encourage young ones young as 6 y.o. (possibly even younger) to learn to ply cricket. Our 6 y.o. goes on Saturday mornings.


  • I didn’t collect these minis, and never really do collect these types of things from the supermarket. If I happen to spend enough and get them, then I will take and give to a child who is collecting, but I wont go out of my way to spend more just to get them all

    • We just did our normal shop and managed to collect a set. We did not buy anything extra either – we did swaps with friends and family.


  • I immediately googled it to buy LOL. But they are so expensive and the cheaper ones are in korean☹


  • Parents still have the purchase power and do not have to purchase these products.


  • These little Coles minis were the biggest headache for families I know that.


  • Personally I loved the Coles mini campaign.


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