Pringles ad removed from Joe Wicks' YouTube series

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Kellogg’s has removed a pre-roll ad for Pringles, which appeared ahead of Joe Wicks’ PE With Joe, YouTube show.

It comes after the Children’s Food Campaign and Action on Salt & Sugar made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. By removing the ad, Kellogg’s avoided a formal investigation.

“A 'Pop, Skip and Jump’ is a misleading and counterproductive message for industry to be pushing. Placing this ad directly before Joe’s hugely popular children’s daily PE class is a total betrayal of his work, and highly insensitive, irresponsible marketing. Children don’t need more salt, more saturated fat, more sugar, more excess calories being pushed to them during a pandemic; or indeed at any time,” said Barbara Crowther, Children’s Food Campaign spokesperson.

“Children are even more of a captive audience during this lockdown, and we are hugely concerned they are still being subjected to unhealthy food advertising like this. The food industry and Government’s focus should be on building up people’s health and resilience; not undermining it.”

The Manchester-based brand had originally advertised on the channel when the exercise classes were predominantly aimed at adults. However, following the lockdown, they were extended to children and families.

Advertising rules state that no food and drink brands can promote less healthy products on children’s TV, or on any media platform, where under 16s make up more than 25% of its audience.

“It was not our intention to advertise Pringles to a younger audience. We are careful about where we place our advertising as we know we have a responsibility to act in the right way,” said a Kellogg’s spokesperson.

“Joe’s fitness channel has historically been aimed at adults which was the case when we placed our advert on it (booked on 18 March). His audience shifted recently with the launch of ‘PE With Joe’.

“As soon as we were made aware that the audience of his channel had changed, we took steps to remove our advertising and we have put measures in place to prevent a repeat.’’

Campaigners are now calling on all companies to adopt a “voluntary moratorium” on junk food advertising before 9pm.

“Last month the UK’s biggest betting and gaming companies showed some degree of moral fibre by agreeing to stop advertising their products on both TV and radio during the lockdown, in a bid to reduce exposure to those at risk of addiction,” stated Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director at Action on Salt and Sugar.

“At this time, when health is more important than ever and our health systems and government are under enormous pressure, we are calling for the British food and drink industry to unite in the interests of public health and, through a voluntary ‘moratorium’, remove all forms of unhealthy advertising across all media platforms before 9pm during the current pandemic.”