HomeInsightsAdvertising Standards Authority rules that a KFC poster ad placed a short distance from a primary school breached the CAP Code rules on HFSS product advertising

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A poster ad for KFC’s “Mars Krushems” drink, seen on 1 July 2018, featured an image of the product next to a Mars Bar under the text “FINGERLICKIN’ COOL”. The poster was displayed on a telephone box a short distance from the entrance to a primary school.

The Obesity Health Alliance challenged whether the ad was for a product that was high in fat, salt or sugar (an HFSS product ad) that was directed at children.

The ASA said that the ad promoted the “Mars Krushems” drink, which was an HFSS product, and the ad was therefore an HFSS product ad for the purposes of the Code.

The ASA said that because children under 16 comprised less than 25% of the UK population, in general, ads for HFSS products that appeared in outdoor public spaces were unlikely to breach the Code. However, the ad seen by the complainant was displayed only a short distance from the entrance to a primary school. As a result, children under 16 made up a much higher proportion of the ad’s audience. It was therefore highly likely that children under 16 comprised significantly more than 25% of the audience of the ad.

The ad’s placement breached the CAP Code rule 15.18 (HFSS product ad placement). (ASA Ruling on Kentucky Fried Chicken (Great Britain) Ltd (8 August 2018) — to read the Ruling in full, click here).