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Complaints

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Since 2006, the Weight Coalition has been monitoring food and beverage advertising practices that target children. The Weight Coalition has a mandate to report practices that appear to violate the law.

Over the years, the Weight Coalition has filed more than 80 complaints against ads that appear to violate the Consumer Protection Act.

Here is an overview of the complaints filed. For more information on the complaints filed, contact us at info@cqpp.qc.ca.

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Guilty pleas

As a result of the complaints filed by the Weight Coalition, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) took legal action against certain companies, which ended in guilty pleas.

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llegal marketing to children: coloring pages and Rice Krispies crafts at www.ricekrispies.ca.

Date: 25 February 2015.

Description: Rice Krispies cereal is getting a lot of attention from kids. The coloring pages on the Rice Krispies site feature the branded children's characters, as well as a blue banner at the bottom of the drawings featuring the name of the cereal and the Kellogg's company. The craft card game also features the branded characters, in addition to the brand's web address.

These coloring pages and crafts can be accessed through the "Kids' Games" tab, visible on the site's homepage. Finally, party hats in Rice Krispies colors featuring the characters Cric, Crac and Croc wishing "Happy Birthday" are printable from the "Plan the Party" section of the "Kids' Games" tab.

The website is accessible at all times and the company does not take any action to discourage children under 13 from accessing it.

Impact of this guilty plea: The OPC initiated criminal proceedings against Kellogg Canada Inc. which resulted in a guilty plea. The company paid a fine in the amount of $9,389. The website has been modified.

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Illegal McDonald's child-directed advertising (TV commercial on Ciné-Cadeau)

Date: July 20, 2009.

Description: Self-promotional footage on the Movie-Gift program and "Chicken McNuggets®" product commercials.

Impact of this guilty plea: McDonald's notoriety and admission of guilt gave the case high visibility, despite the start of the vacations. This particular case drew attention to the importance of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, which prohibit advertising to children.

Following its guilty plea to the six charges laid by the OPC, a fine of $12,000 was imposed on the multinational.

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Prohibited advertising directed at children by Burger King (free toys)

Date: May 8, 2009

Description: Advertising messages accompanying toy figurines given to children with the purchase of a meal.

Impact of the guilty plea: First restaurant chain to recognize that it was advertising by associating its image with toy figurines given to children with the purchase of a meal.

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Prohibited advertising directed at children by General Mills (Lucky Charms website's)

Date: February 25, 2009

Description: Invitation on boxes of Lucky Charms sweetened cereals to visit the product’s website, which contained advertising, games and animated cartoons intended for children.

Impact: First guilty plea recognizing that the prohibition on advertising to children applies to the Web: dissuasive effect on the industry bringing about changes in practices on certain websites, based on a review carried out by the Coalition before and after the case.

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Prohibited advertising directed at children by Saputo

Date: January 26, 2009

Description : Distribution of promotional bags containing promotional items (CD, posters, stickers, Igor muffins and discount coupons) to promote Igor muffins in more than 230 Quebec childcare centres in early 2007.

Impact: First guilty plea since adoption in 1978 of the provisions of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act that prohibit advertising directed at children under 13 years of age and confirmation that the scope of the law covers promotional items associated with a brand.

Prohibited advertising directed at children by P2P Promotion Publicité

Date: April 29, 2009

Description: Organization of the Saputo Igor muffin advertising campaign.

Impact: First advertising agency to plead guilty in connection with an advertising campaign of the sort directed at children under 13 years of age. Gained awareness by advertisers of their responsibility regarding children’s health.

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Our other actions

PORTRAIT

PORTRAIT

The food industry is multiplying its strategies to attract the attention of children.

Learn more

COMPLAINTS

COMPLAINTS

Since 2009, many complaints have been filed by the Weight Coalition.

Learn more

DENOUNCE

DENOUNCE

An advertisement seems to be in violation of the law by targeting children?

Denounce it!

 

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