ASA Adjudication on Dunhills (Pontefract) plc
Dunhills (Pontefract) plc
26 Front Street
22 August 2012
Food and drink
Number of complaints:
A game on the website www.haribo.co.uk called "Haribo Super Mix Challenge". The object of the side-scrolling game was to collect Super Mix sweets by navigating a cartoon bear over and under certain obstacles. On-screen text counted how many "Smooth, Squidgy and Soft" sweets the player collected and a total was also displayed at the completion of the game.
The Children's Food Campaign (Sustain) objected that the game encouraged excessive consumption of unhealthy products by children.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Dunhills (Pontefract) plc (Dunhills) said the objective of the Super Mix Challenge was to inform consumers about the mix of different textures within a bag of Haribo Super Mix. This was done by challenging the user to collect a number of sweets from each of the three texture types (soft, smooth and squidgy). The intention was not to encourage excessive consumption of sweets. The game was developed to be non-competitive, in order to discourage users from returning to it a number of times. There was no winning score, leader board or levels to the game therefore, once the game was completed, there was no incentive to play it again.
Sustain believed that the Super Mix Challenge was targeted at children and that it actively encouraged excessive consumption of unhealthy products. The game involved controlling a bear in a car through some countryside, overcoming obstacles and collecting smooth, squidgy and soft Haribo sweets along the way. The game was relatively simple and straightforward and therefore likely to appeal to young children. However, because the 'consumption' of the sweets was presented in an abstract manner, we considered it unlikely that children playing the game would be encouraged to replicate the character's consumption as shown in the game. Furthermore the absence of leader boards or levels to the game presented little encouragement to play it again. We therefore considered that the game neither condoned nor encouraged excessive consumption of the product or poor nutritional habits in children.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 15.4 (Food, food supplements and associated health and nutritional claims) and 15.11 (Food and soft drink product marketing communications and children) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.