Ben & Jerry's breaches ASA rules with junk food ads near schools

Ben & Jerry's in trouble for advertising too close to schools

Ben & Jerry's has been pulled up by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for breaching rules that prevent advertising high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products in close proximity to schools.

The ASA received a complaint from the Children's Food Campaign (Sustain) who challenged Unilever's Ben & Jerry's for two posters the brand placed close to schools.

The posters were for 'Moophoria light' - Ben & Jerry's new low-calorie ice cream. Although slightly healthier than its original range, the lighter ice cream still classifies as an HFSS product.

Unilever defended itself, arguing its ads were mistakenly placed near schools, and that they were removed immediately.

Build, the poster site owner, argued that because the ice cream had fewer calories and less fat than regular ice cream, it did not regard it to be high in fat.

Build urged that it didn't intend to target children. Rather, the posters were placed to target adults visiting Portobello Road in London, as well as the nightlife around the area.

Despite this, the ASA decided to take action, telling Unilever to ensure that they took measures in future to ensure that HFSS product ads were not displayed in close proximity.

Unilever has since taken down the posters, and gave additional guidelines to its media buying agency to ensure that the error was not repeated.

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