A poster ad for Burger King’s Whopper Jr meal deal, seen on 24 July 2018, featured an image of the whopper burger, fries and a zero sugar Coca Cola with the tagline ‘A Whopper Jr. of a deal £2.99’. The poster was displayed on a bus stop close to a primary school.
The complainant, who saw the ad placed close to a primary school, challenged whether the ad was for a product that was high in fat, salt or sugar (an HFSS product ad) that was directed at children.
Burger King Ltd said that the poster ad was placed 96 metres from the school and the ad had since been removed.
JCDecaux stated that the issue had arisen due to a data conflict in their booking system which meant it had been incorrectly placed.
The CAP Code required that HFSS product ads must not be directed at children through the selection of media or the context in which they appeared, and that no medium should be used to advertise HFSS products if more than 25% of its audience was under the age of 16. The ad promoted the Burger King Whopper Jr meal deal, which featured a burger and fries which were HFSS products and drink which was a non-HFSS product. We considered that the ad was therefore an HFSS product ad for the purposes of the Code.
The ad was located within 100 metres of a primary school. The ASA noted that the standard approach taken by the outdoor ad industry was to not place ads for HFSS products within 100 metres of a primary or secondary school during term time. We considered that due to the proximity of the poster to the primary school, it was likely that the audience of the ad would be significantly skewed towards under-16s and that it was therefore directed at children through the context in which it appeared. We acknowledged the ad was placed in close proximity to a primary school in error; however, we considered that the ad’s placement breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 15.18 15.18 HFSS product advertisements must not be directed at people under 16 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise HFSS products, if more than 25% of its audience is under 16 years of age. (HFSS product ad placement).
The ad must not be displayed again in close proximity to a primary or secondary school. We told Burger King Ltd to ensure that they took measures in future to ensure that HFSS product ads were not displayed in close proximity to a primary or secondary school.