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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 email@example.com.
In recent years, the Weight Coalition has filed several complaints against Slush Puppie. According to the Weight Coalition, the company's displays are in violation of the CPA, as they feature a child mascot and are often strategically positioned.
The sponsorship of the Quebec Winter Carnival, a family event, was not dark. However, the CPA allows sponsorships as long as they are dark. Thus, the Weight Coalition filed a complaint to this effect in 2015.
According to the Weight Coalition, the Ficello website should be banned under the CPA. It invites children to interact with the mascot through playful games. Following the Weight Coalition's filing of the complaint in 2020, the website was removed.
Bad Monkey's distribution of free popcorn outside an elementary school led to the filing of a complaint by the Weight Coalition.
In 2021, the Weight Coalition filed a complaint against a Bear Paws television commercial featuring a child mascot that exploits the parent-child relationship, among other things.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The food industry is multiplying its strategies to attract the attention of children.
Since 2009, many complaints have been filed by the Weight Coalition.
An advertisement seems to be in violation of the law by targeting children?