We are calling on governments at all levels to implement advertising and sponsorship policies to restrict unhealthy food and drink sponsorship. This follows a new report finding WA parents overwhelmingly agreeing that sport is no place for marketing junk food and drink to children.
Our Obesity Prevention Manager, Ainslie Sartori, said the report, Junk food in sport: it’s just not cricket, showed more than three quarters of WA parents supported the need for regulations to protect children from junk food advertising in sport.
“As fans headed into the summer of 2021-22 cricket season, Cancer Council WA set out to analyse junk food branding visible during the Big Bash League final and surveyed WA parents on their thoughts on junk food sponsorship in sport,” Ms Sartori said.
“We surveyed more than 900 West Australians to find out what they think about junk food advertising in sport, with 81 per cent agreeing that sport is no place for marketing junk food and drink to children.
“Additionally, 77 per cent of parents think the marketing of junk food and drink in sports makes it more likely that children will pester their parents for junk food and drink products.
“Sport has so much potential to positively impact our health and quality of life, yet our children are bombarded with advertising from the processed food industry in every part of their lives, and sport sponsorship plays a huge part in this.”
Ms Sartori said their analysis also showed KFC advertising saturated the 2021-22 Big Bash League (BBL) final.
“In terms of exposure, we found that KFC advertising was visible during 40 per cent of the final broadcast, with more than one third of this from multiple advertising exposures on screen,” she said.
“KFC marketing and branding was visible 13 times more than healthy brand marketing.
“In addition, the partnership between KFC and Cricket Australia included cricket themed advertising outside of the televised coverage with social media posts, paid influencers participating in bucket challenges, themed menu items, and giving away buckets for children to wear.
“The Optus Stadium train station is wallpapered with burger ads, and the stadium is wallpapered with fried chicken – there is no escape.
“West Australian children should be able to play and watch sport in an environment that supports and promotes their wellbeing.
“Instead, watching sport means being bombarded by advertising for junk food, undermining families’ efforts to provide and promote a healthy diet.
“Cancer Council WA calls on the State Government to play its role in protecting children from this harmful exposure by creating standards on the advertising it allows on its own property, such as sport stadiums and public transport.
“It’s time for governments, sporting organisations and broadcasters to put people before profits and introduce higher standards for how the junk food industry markets and advertises its brands, especially to children.”