Babies and children

Supermarket ad banned for targeting children

Supermarket ad banned for targeting children Chance to win a trip to Disneyland Paris

A Morrisons TV ad has been banned amid claims it used the lure of a trip to Disneyland to encourage kids to pester their parents to shop there.

The supermarket chain’s ‘Disney Magical Moments’ campaign opened with a string of unhappy children who only cheered up at the prospect of a visit to Morrisons, where Walt Disney collectable cards were offered.

The next shot showed the children excitedly opening packs of the cards in a bid to find the ones offering a holiday to Disneyland Paris.

Viewers complained that the ad had been specifically targeted at children so they would pester their parents to visit the store to collect the cards.

Morrisons insisted the advert did not target kids and ran during school term time when children should not have seen it.

Meanwhile Clearcast, the body that vets ads before they run on television, said the advert simply showed typical scenes from family life, including "parents cheering up their children by taking them on the weekly shopping trip".

But the Advertising Standards Authority this week upheld the complaints, pointing out that the ad had been aired on several children’s television channels, featured children on-screen and was centred on kids’ Disney cards with the enticement of a holiday to Disneyland having a “strong appeal amongst children”.

As such, it breached advertising regulations on marketing to children.

The watchdog said: “In each family scenario, the children were offered a trip to Morrisons in an attempt cheer them up... In the supermarket scene, the child was shown to hurriedly take the cards from an adult in excitement and eagerly open the packet [while] upon discovering a winning card the child’s face was illuminated in gold and the child was shown to be overjoyed at having won.

“We were therefore concerned that the ad could encourage children to ask their parents or guardians to visit Morrisons in order to obtain the Disney cards and the chance to win a holiday to Disneyland Paris.”

The ASA concluded the advert “must not be broadcast again in its current form”.

This article was published on Thu 27 October 2011

Image © contrastwerkstatt -

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