Krispy Kreme unfairly targeting kids, says group

By Neil Merrett
AP Food, 3/20/07

 Fast food group Krispy Kreme is "guilty" of unfairly targeting its products on children, according to a panel of Australian parents.

The verdict, delivered on Friday by online group The Parents Jury, criticised the company for using its school and sporting fundraising activities to promote its products.

The announcement comes as the Australian government faces increasing pressure to reconsider its policy of not restricting junk food advertisements and marketing campaigns in order to combat a growing obesity problem in the country.

Anna Peeters, a spokesperson for the group, believes that the criticism highlights the growing dissatisfaction amongst consumers at methods being employed by the food industry to promote their goods to children.

"Fundraisers are an inexpensive way for food companies to market their products," she said. "It encourages children to eat these low nutrient foods which will undoubtedly contribute to Australias growing obesity problem."

The organization, which consists of 2,500 mums and dads across the country, made the claims as part of its "Trial by Jury" campaign to allow its members to voice their concerns and support over the marketing practices of food companies.

The scheme launched by the group last month, is designed to grant parents in the country a means to voice concerns they have regarding marketing campaigns for unhealthy foods that specifically target children.

Any adverts deemed by its members to unfairly target children are then scrutinised by a seven member panel of the organization members.

This panel then deems whether there are sufficient grounds to name and shame the company the offending advertisements.

Despite their concern over the affect on advertising on children, the Australian Government has just this month rejected calls for a ban on the practice.

Health minister Tony Abbott told reporters that he had seen little evidence from other countries that such restrictions on advertising had any affect on reducing obesity rates.

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