Big kid PE champion Joe Wicks has been doing wonders for increasing activity levels of both children and adults throughout the lockdown period. He has been hosting daily PE exercise sessions through his Body Coach YouTube channel to great success.
The success of the channel was spotted by Kellogg's who struck up a deal with to promote their Pringles snack on the channel. Joe's classes were originally aimed at adults but have been supersized to give childrens PE sessions during lockdown. Back in April (remember that??) a pre-programmed advert for Pringles was broadcast on the channel to an unspecified number of children who had joined Joe's weekday classes.
The current regulations covering the promotion of junk food and High in Fat, Salt or Sugar (HFSS) products require that brands cannot promote those products on children's TV, or via any media, where the audience consists of greater than 25% under-16s.
The ad on Joe's channel, encouraging consumers to "pop, play, eat", was flagged to the ASA by action groups. It is clear that the ad was somewhat mistimed, but it is important to note that it is not strictly in contravention of current regulations.
Kellogg's did comment that the ad placement was pre-booked and scheduled when the channel was predominantly targeted at an adult audience. Irrespective, Kellogg's have taken the decision to remove the ad given the shift in the make-up of the audience.
The Advertising Standards Authority has decided not to pursue a formal regulatory investigation into the issue following one complaint, but health campaigners accused the food company of “irresponsibly” advertising Pringles to families on Joe Wicks’s Body Coach YouTube channel.