Unilever rapped for Ben & Jerry's ad near school

Charlie Spargo's picture

The ASA has ruled against Unilever in the case of a poster campaign for Ben & Jerry's Moophoria Light ice cream, following a complaint from The Children’s Food Campaign (Sustain).

Two posters, one near a secondary school and one near a primary school, were spotted - reading 'New Moophoria Light never tasted so right'. The complainant was concerned about the promotion of a high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) product in proximity to children. 

This violates an ASA regulation, which states "HFSS product ads must not be directed at children through the selection of media or the context in which they appeared." Another section of the regulation against the promotion of fatty, salty and sugary items reads "no medium should be used to advertise HFSS products if more than 25% of its audience [is] under the age of 16."

The ice creams in question form part of Ben & Jerry's low-calorie range. The Moophoria products are around 128-132 calories per serving, and are available in four flavours.

While Unilever responded that their target audience was 18-to-35s, and had no policy of targeting children, the ruling was upheld by the ASA.

The advert was found to violate CAP Code rule 15.18. It must not from now on be on show near a school, and in future Unilever must make sure to keep HFSS product adverts away from schools.