The Advertising Standards Authority have banished a poster depicting Cadbury’s Freddo chocolate bar, after its positioning on a bus stop close to a primary school was found to have violated strict junk food advertising rules.
Cadbury’s parent Mondelez sought to pin the blame on JCDecaux for positioning the offending ad within just 100m from the school gates, breaking rules prohibiting the marketing of unhealthy products to anyone below the age of 16.
Explaining its rationale, the ASA wrote: “The poster ad was located at a bus stop within 100 metres of a primary school. We considered that the proximity of the poster to the school was likely to mean that the audience of the ad was significantly skewed towards under-16s and because of that it was directed at children through the context in which the ad appeared.”
Further reprimands came by way of ads included in an associated comic and audiobook, which also fell foul of the ban on promoting products that are high in fat, salt or sugar.
A Cadbury spokesman said: “We’re disappointed the ASA considered that some elements of the Freddo and the missing hop campaign did not meet the required standards.
"On this one occasion, an error was made by one of our partners when a Cadbury advertisement was accidentally placed within 100m of a school – once we were made aware of this, it was immediately rectified.
"We are already taking the insights and views provided by the ASA as part of this ruling and applying those learnings to our future content so we can continue to build on our commitment in this area.”
None of the offending ads must appear again in their current form.
Cadbury's has already been banned from running its Easter Bunny ads under the legislation.