Coles Australia has launched a new promotion, designed for and targeted at our kids.
According to news reports, customers will be able to collect 30 plastic miniature branded product toys for every $30 spent on products sold by Coles' stores.
The toys are made of plastic and represent a large selection of unhealthy products. There is only one example of fresh produce, being a bunch of bananas. Many of the toys represent unhealthy junk foods.
Image: via news.com.au.
There is overwhelming research that clearly explains why promotional material like this is a problem.
Firstly, there is a clear link between advertising of unhealthy foods that is targeted to children and children's consumption of those foods. There's some great detail here, provided by the NSW Cancer Council.
Secondly and more broadly, advertising to kids is unfair. That's not us saying that, it's groups like the American Psychological Association, who also describe how children aren't able to distinguish between what's real and what's not, as well as not having the skills to critically analyse marketing material and therefore accept "most advertising claims and appeals as truthful, accurate, and unbiased".
Failing all that, at a time when community concern about the amount of plastic going to landfill is at a peak, launching a small, plastic toy range seems to actively undermine the positive steps Coles has taken to reduce single-use plastic bag usage.
That's why The Parenthood is asking Coles to reconsider the 'Little Shop' promotion and to commit to stop targeting advertising material to children.
Please sign our petition to the General Manager of Coles Australia. The more people who support us, the more we can show Coles that mums and dads don't want our kids marketed to.