Junk Food Injunction
Junk Food Injunction is a quarterly newsletter produced by The Cancer Council NSW which aims to raise public awareness about the issues relating to food marketing to children and give practical advice on what you can do to make a difference. The newsletter addresses food marketing to children on both TV and through other channels, such as on the Internet and in children’s magazines.
Click on the links below to read each newsletter edition. To be added to the distribution list for Junk Food Injunction please contact:
Cancer Council NSW
Ph: (02) 9334 1467
Read the latest issue of Junk Food Injuction newsletter - Click on the title
- February Edition 2017
In 2016 there were 11 complaints to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) concerning food and beverage marketing to children, of which only two were upheld. The majority were for advertisements on the internet; five regarding websites and three on Facebook, highlighting that food advertisers are responding to the trend that children are spending more time online than watching TV. The remaining complaints were for two TV advertisements and one bus stop poster.
Again we see the same offenders of past, and again we see similar excuses and disappointing decisions. In this edition we take a closer look at the complaints and the loopholes of the self-regulatory initiatives and showcase a new study that examines whether the amount of junk food marketing has changed since the introduction of these initiatives.
Past Issues of Junk Food Injunction
Note: Some of the past issues are saved as PDFs. If you are experiencing problems opening these, click here to get Adobe Reader.
- December Edition 2016
In this edition we feature an article by guest writer Andrea Western on regulatory changes in Chile including regulation on food advertising to children. We showcase three studies highlighting the effect of advertising on children, a study on Australian children's attachments to major brands, an investigation of the effect of brand characters, and a look inside the brain as children watch ads. We also feature several articles on digital marketing practices and take a look at countermarketing lessons from tobacco.
- August Edition 2016
In this edition we share the latest CCNSW research on junior sports development programs, the junior versions of adult sports that aim to encourage children to participate in sport. We found that there aren't too many food companies sponsoring these programs but unfortunately those that do are junk food companies. A recent Australian paper has found strong evidence of a relationship between food marketing and negative effects on food preferences, choices and short-term consumption in 3-12 year old children. We also look at more evidence of the influence of brands on children, highlighting some novel Australian research; some recent qualitative research on the effects of pester power; and a comparison of the density of fast food outlets in different SES areas in Adelaide.
- May Edition 2016
With childhood overweight and obesity rates at around 25% it is pleasing to hear New South Wales has recognised the importance of tackling this issue with the NSW Premier announcing that reducing childhood obesity rates will be a priority for his government. In this issue, we look at studies into the prevalence of unhealthy outlets in neighbourhoods and we showcase two studies from UK, one, an experimental study on the impact of 'healthy' fast food advertising on children's food selection, and the other a review of 18 studies that looked at the link between food intake and food advertising.
In 2015 there were 16 complaints to the Advertising Standards Board (the Board) concerning food marketing to children; five regarding websites, three each in the app, TV and outdoor signage category and one each for a print and a radio ad. Interestingly, in the past year half of the complaints referred to apps or websites with games. We have summarised some of the interesting quotes and decisions.
- December Edition 2015
Once again, the annual Parents’ Voice Fame & Shame Awards have shown that there are still plenty of unhealthy ads on TV despite recent changes to the Free TV Code of Practice removing provisions covering junk food advertising to children. The good news is that the ACT Government has just completed a consultation on food promotion in local Canberra settings, including sports settings.
In research news, a small study with a group of Australian children has shown many associate brand logos with the sports teams that wear these sponsors’ logos on their shirts. This newsletter also looks at studies into what influences Australian parents to buy ‘treat’ foods and why families visit fast food restaurants. Another study into themes used in kids’ snack ads has found different marketing techniques were used for parents compared to children.
In new media, we look at a study of digital promotions by three food and drink brands in Australia and a complaint about the mobile app for young children, YouTube Kids.
- September Edition 2015
The Australian Food and Grocery Council report on compliance to the self-regulatory initiatives in 2014 found that many companies were still breaching their own responsible marketing to children initiatives. A study in US has found children's exposure to confectionery advertising is still growing despite a similar self-regulatory initiative. Another study highlights problems with the EU pledge around definitions of 'advertising to children' and transparency of communicating the pledge.
We report on fresh evidence finding children who watched TV ads had poorer diets than their peers who didn't watch ads. Modelling has shown the impact New York City's plans to limit toys to only healthy fast food kid's meals will have on children's diets. Again, cartoon characters and their influence on kids is a popular topic, and a US report confirms that checkout placement is a powerful marketing strategy. And finally, an Australian perspective suggests public health measures may have forgotten our youth but the advertisers haven't.
- June Edition 2015
Cancer Council has recently released results of a comprehensive study of Australian secondary school students that gives insights into their body weight, dietary and physical activity behaviours. We look at the findings on junk food consumption and the influence of marketing. Sponsorship of Australian sport has been identified in a recent study as an area that avoids regulation even though it promotes unhealthy eating habits. We also look at a couple of studies showing the effect on younger children of brand placement in TV shows and premiums in ads for children's meals.
- February Edition 2015
In Australia, food advertising to children in any media comes primarily under industry self-regulatory initiatives with no active monitoring but a reliance on the community to lodge complaints with the Advertising Standards Bureau. In this edition we look at the encouraging findings in 2014 and also the loopholes that appear year after year.
- December Edition 2014
In this edition we share some insights from the recent World Cancer Congress. The parents have voted and we highlight the winners of the Parents' Jury Fame and Shame Awards for advertising unhealthy food and drinks to children. We look at studies into the extent of marketing in magazines and through Facebook, report on some studies about fast food in disadvantaged communities and provide an update on the sugary drinks campaign in the US.
- September Edition 2014
This edition of Junk Food Injunction includes some compelling new studies strengthening the evidence we have about links between food marketing and childhood obesity.
- June Edition 2014
In this newsletter we are pleased to feature the updated report on food marketing to children in Australia, Children’s Health or Corporate Wealth?. Our survey of NSW adults found the community is still concerned about food marketing to children. We also look at several Australian studies, one looking at alcohol and junk food ads during sport and another on the role parents play in choosing children’s fast food meals. We report on a threat to the Children’s Television Standards, a Queensland report on outdoor advertising and some recent complaints about website games. Finally, we feature two international studies, both looking at characters on packaging and in advertising.
- February Edition 2014
In Australia, besides provisions in the Children’s Television Standards about advertising to children during C- and P-rated programs, all other times for television advertising and other media are covered by voluntary self-regulatory initiatives. In 2009, the food industry set up the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative and the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative to “reduce advertising and marketing to children for food and drinks that are not healthier choices”. There is no monitoring program for these initiatives therefore we are reliant on complaints to the Advertising Standards Board and the resultant ruling to identify ads of particular concern to the public.In this edition we summarise the complaints against the food industry initiatives in the last year.
- December Edition 2013
With the year quickly drawing to an end the Annual Parents’ Jury Fame and Shame Awards have found plenty of ads that parents are still unhappy about. In this edition we also showcase two videos highlighting the junk food marketing maze from a parent’s point of view and look at studies into marketing involving sports stars and in children’s movies. We focus on fast food facts and see what kids in Canada think about kid’s food.
- September Edition 2013
Welcome to our Spring edition of Junk Food Injunction. You may have heard about breaches to the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative by Kellogg's, but did you hear what excuses the company used to defend their advertising or the reasoning behind the Advertising Standard's Board ruling? There are some interesting grass roots petitions involving McDonald's happening at the moment and of course there are always new and interesting studies to talk about.
- May Edition 2013
In this edition we have some updates on several of our campaigns. Its disappointing we don't have amazing progress to report but thank you all for your continued support. We report on some interesting research on celebrity influence on children's brand preferences and some more news on the growth in online advertising.
- February Edition 2013
To start the new year we look at some recent Australian studies on television advertising, a Facebook ruling that has implications for food companies with Facebook pages, and also highlight some developments in the regulation of food advertising to children from around the world. In the latest studies section there seems to be a lot of research into ways to promote healthy options to children.
- July Edition 2012
It's already July and the Olympics are fast approaching. With Cadbury, McDonald's and Coca-Cola sponsoring the 2012 Olympic Games, this edition of Junk Food Injunction will focus on sport and food advertising. We talk about the recent Disney announcement committing to reducing junk food marketing to children and the new developments in Australia which provide an opportunity to reduce children's exposure to junk food marketing. Also, the World Health Organization has recently released a framework for implementing the 2010 recommendations and we take a look at how advertising can be used for promoting healthy foods.
- February Edition 2012
We wish you a Happy New Year and look forward to keeping you updated with what’s happening in food marketing to children in 2012. In this newsletter we look at a new study about the nutrition quality of children’s fast food meals as well as talk about some changes in the fast food industry. A new website has launched to show how much advertising is in your kids favourite TV shows and we look at a study that has explored using toys to sell healthy options and another study where mums talk about how they cope with pester power.
- August Edition 2011
We would like to thank all of you who signed our petition urging the Advertising Standards Bureau to overturn their ruling that the McDonald's website, happymeal.com.au, is not marketing junk food to children. Also in this issue a new study looks at tactics used in ads and we summarise recent reports and enquiries.
- February Edition 2011
In this edition we review food advertising to children in 2010. We show which advertisements were caught out breaching the government regulations and the voluntary self-regulations.
- October Edition 2010
Excitement has been building here for a number of weeks as we have been working on the launch of the new Junkbusters website. Also in this edition we look at kids’ sport and food company sponsorship and the review of the impact of food and drink advertising restrictions in the United Kingdom. This season’s recipe is Chick Pea and CousCous Salad, great as an accompaniment to spring lamb or as a workplace lunch for a healthy start to Spring and Summer.
- Autumn Edition 2010
Despite self regulatory codes there are still objectionable advertisements of unhealthy food to children. In this edition we announce the establishment of a registry for complaints regarding junk food advertising to children and highlight some novel forms of advertising to children such as food packaging and product placement in recipes. We also look at what are the best snacks for kids.
- Spring Edition 2009
A new report from the global consumer organisation Consumers International exposes how the three biggest fast food chains push their products to children. Also in this edition, targeted advertising in cinemas undermines efforts to restrict this type of marketing to children and a new report has found that the majority of breakfast cereals marketed to children in the United States are those that have the worst nutrition profiles.
- Winter Edition 2009
In this edition we highlight concerns on the effectiveness of the new fast food voluntary code, the Australian Quick Service Restaurant Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children. We reveal a children’s website based on a popular confectionery character; a bid to makeover confectionery and look at some of the extreme eating in North America. This edition also discusses a framework for classifying research on food marketing to children.
- Autumn Edition 2009 (Size: 227KB, PDF)
The aim of this newsletter is to keep you informed about food marketing to children and its impact on children’s health. This edition of Junk Food Injunction highlights a new advocacy campaign from public health and consumer groups, including Cancer Council, which aims to demonstrate community support for better regulations on unhealthy food marketing to children. We also describe how food marketers are infiltrating classrooms, and the marketing spin used by food companies to promote their products as healthier than they really are.
- Summer Edition 2009 (Size: 188KB, PDF)
In this edition we give you our take on the Australian Food and Grocery Council's new Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative, which aims to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children through industry self-regulation. We also describe new research which highlight the impact that unhealthy food advertising bans would have on childhood obesity; the types of foods promoted to children at community sporting venues; and a food labelling system which would help shoppers to choose healthier food products.
- Winter Edition 2008 (Size: 313KB, PDF)
To coincide with the Olympic Games, both food advertisers and TV broadcasters took advantage of the public relations opportunities and visibility that this event provided. In this edition of Junk Food Injunction we describe McDonald’s latest marketing campaign, and TV broadcasters new Healthy Lifestyle ‘Live Life’ Campaign which both use prominent sports figures to promote their messages. To challenge these food industry advertisements, a group of leading public health organisations, in association with former Olympians, released their own counter advertising.
- Autumn Edition 2008 (Size: 247KB, PDF)
In this edition of Junk Food Injunction we describe two different codes for food marketing to children; the recently revised advertising industry code and Consumers International’s recommendations for an International Code for Marketing to Children. We also report on research exploring children’s exposure to food advertising on their way to and from school and a new Parents Jury campaign for improvements to food labelling.
- Summer Edition 2008 (Size: 201KB, PDF)
This edition of Junk Food Injunction describes recent Cancer Council NSW research relating to parent’s awareness and concern about food marketing to children, the industry’s review of their Code for Advertising to Children and lessons learnt from the new UK television advertising to children regulations, and sports sponsorship, an important yet under researched form of food marketing to children.
- Spring Edition 2007 (Size: 393KB, PDF)
This edition of Junk Food Injunction highlights the overwhelming community support for this public health issue and the progress made so far. Also in this issue, we feature the Parents Jury’s ‘winners’ for the worst TV ads and a list of the top websites for information on children’s nutrition and physical activity.
- Winter Edition 2007 (Size: 219KB, PDF)
In this issue of Junk Food Injunction we have provided you with information and suggestions for making your own submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority for the Children’s Television Standards review. Also, the results of the CFAC parent attitudes survey are released.
- Autumn Edition 2007 (Size: 200KB, PDF)
This edition of Junk Food Injunction outlines some of these advocacy efforts currently being undertaken by The Cancer Council NSW and CFAC, including the Pull the Plug Campaign, and The Cancer Council NSW recent research on food marketing to children via the Internet and children’s magazines.
- Summer Edition 2007 (Size: 351KB, PDF)
This issue provides an introduction into the issues relating to food marketing to children, with a particular focus on the association between unhealthy food advertising and children's weight. We also describe the regulations covering food marketing to children in Australia, and the common marketing techniques used.