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Sugary children's drink voted year's worst advertising lie

The Local · 23 Apr 2010, 11:33

Published: 23 Apr 2010 11:33 GMT+02:00

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According to an online consumer poll, Bavarian-based dairy company Zott’s promise that the “sugar bomb” drink would be a healthy snack was so irresponsible that it beat out all other dubious food advertising attempts, Foodwatch said in a statement.

“The ‘Monte Drink’ is false labelling from A to Zott,” head of the Foodwatch poll Anne Markwardt said. “More sugar than cola and twice as many calories as Fanta – that shouldn’t allow for advertising it as healthy.”

More than 81,000 consumers participated in the online poll hosted by www.abgespeist.de, 37 percent of whom voted the “Monte Drink” the worst food advertising lie of the year.

When Foodwatch approached Zott about their ad campaign, the company said consumers don’t like products without sugar.

“Every one of our products, and in particular children’s products, is tested for taste acceptance by consumers. Totally unsweetened products have been rejected,” they told Foodwatch.

The second most misleading advertising for a food product was Pfanner’s tea, “Der Gelbe Zintrone Physalis,” which was also found to be very high in sugar, though it is touted at a “wellness” product.

Mushroom soup “Duett Champignon Creme-Suppe” from Escoffier took the third spot for worst most misleading advertising. While the manufacturer attached a top chef to claims it contains “the finest ingredients,” it is actually a “pure mixture of additives and aroma” no better than “packaged powder soup.”

The poll, conducted between March 22 and April 22, aimed to uncover “legal advertising lies” among German foodmakers with concrete examples, Foodwatch said.

Story continues below…

The action also gave consumers the chance to send letters of complaint directly to the offenders and “congratulate” them for making the award’s top list.

In 2009 Foodwatch awarded Danone’s drink yoghurt “Actimel” with the Golden Cream Puff Award, a distinction that forced a 55 percent drop in the product, the watchdog said.

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Your comments about this article

13:30 April 23, 2010 by William Thirteen
well it's all relative. Monte Drink is "extra healthy" compared with same size bottles of motor oil or drain cleaner....
16:35 April 23, 2010 by hkypuck
Hey, don't knock drain cleaner. A entire bottle of it will ensure that you won't die in a car crash or of cancer.
18:46 April 23, 2010 by cshgth
And who "taught" the kids to like extra sweet stuff - the food industry!
21:17 April 23, 2010 by wood artist
Although it's different, it's the same game with car manufacturers, especially in the US.

During hearings about fuel economy and oversized SUV's, the presidents of GM, Ford, and Chrysler all claimed they were just building what the public wanted.

That's true, but they skipped the second part.

The public believes that's what they want because the manufacturers have conditioned them to believe it. Power (which means poor gas mileage) is important, even though in the US it's illegal to drive over 70 MPH anywhere. Who "really needs" a car that goes from 0 to 60 in four seconds? Does anyone outside of F1 or NASCAR drive like that? Nope.

cshgth, you have it exactly correct. Consumers are conditioned by the ads to believe that somehing is good, so the company can sell what they want to sell.

23:43 April 23, 2010 by LMB222
"twice as many calories as Fanta"

That sounds very serious, but how many is that? Behind such statements hides simple manipulation, none better than the ad itself.
11:11 April 24, 2010 by Small Town Boy
@LMB222: Easy enough to find out; a quick Google search shows that Fanta has 190 calories per 355 ml serving, while Monte Drink has 357 calories for a 200 ml serving. Per 100 ml, that's 54 calories for Fanta and 178 for Monte Drink.
14:21 April 24, 2010 by Bensonradar
Cunning advertising campaigns, happy looking children. It's all a con. It's vital to stop children from consuming too much sugar. It causes diabetes, and long-term ill health.

Calling a sugar bomb drink a healthy snack proves Zott's management is mad. Take it off the market. Eat more fresh fruit.
15:25 April 24, 2010 by KerrAvon
Reminds me of almost the same situation in the UK a few years ago with 'Sunny Delight' made by proctor & gamble, Some kid turned ORANGE because of the massive levels of food colour in in... it too was touted as a 'heathy juice drink' but had only 5% juice in it and enough sugar & addatives to sink the Bismark (again) they subsiquently, after a shed load of bad PR, changed the formulation, to what it should have been from the start... lesson here RTFL read the **** label...
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