1 Jul 2019

Cookie Time 'perfect breakfast' advert breached standards - authority

2:14 pm on 1 July 2019

A Cookie Time ad dubbing a bowl of cookies and milk the "perfect breakfast" has breached advertising standards.

Auckland health authorities complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the ad which featured on Instagram and Facebook in January.

The brightly coloured post showed a large bowl of cookies and milk and said "the struggle to find the perfect breakfast is over", followed by a string of cheery emojis.

Cookie Time ad.

Cookie Time ad. Photo: Facebook

The group Healthy Auckland Together complained the ad promoted unhealthy eating by showing an 'occasional food' as a breakfast food and encouraging large portion sizes.

In its response, Cookie Time said the ad was meant to be fun and would not have been taken seriously.

It pointed out its Cookie Muncher mascot, who featured in it, was a mischievous, cheeky character that pokes fun.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the ad was socially irresponsible and encouraged people to eat an "inappropriate" number of cookies for breakfast.

Facebook comments on the standards-breaching Cookie Time ad.

Facebook comments on the standards-breaching Cookie Time ad. Photo: Screenshot

But one dissenting authority member said the ad was clearly meant to be tongue in cheek.

Healthy Auckland Together - which includes Auckland's DHBs, the Auckland Council and the Ministry of Health - also complained that the ad breached standards to prevent marketing junk food to children because it also featured brightly coloured packing with the Cookie Muncher monster eating bowls of cookies.

However, the authority said the ad - which was only on the age restricted platforms Instagram and Facebook - did not target children.

Comments on the post showed people saying "my kind of breakfast" and "forget weetbix".