McDonald's Mac Pack

Ad:
The McDonald's Mac Pack website features AFL players including Marc Murphy and Scott Pendlebury. It contains competitions, games, sports tips and bios of the sportsmen, alongside instances of McDonald's branding including pictures of the players wearing McDonald's branded guernseys.

Where it appeared:
From 2012 (and continuing) at http://www.macpack.com.au/, with associated television commercials in 2012.  

The community said:
The website markets McDonald's products to children, using images and sporting tips from famous sports personalities. The website breaches relevant advertising standards as these products are not a healthy choice for children, a majority being very high in sugar, salt and fat.

What the advertiser said:
The relevant standards do not apply to the online promotion as "a website itself cannot be characterised as an 'advertising or marketing communication.'"

What the Advertising Standards Board said:
The Board noted that the relevant advertising standards are designed to ensure that only food and beverages that represent healthier choices are promoted directly to children. However, it found that as there were no images or references to any McDonald's food or beverage product at all on the website, only the logo and an image of Ronald McDonald, the website was not a promotion of a food or beverage. Complaint dismissed.

OPC discussion:
The Board did not address the central argument in the complaint – that promoting McDonald's branding clearly promotes all McDonald's products, a view shared by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Independent Review of the ASB's decision was requested and dismissed.

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