The Irish Heart Foundation has launched a new digital campaign aimed at stopping junk food and drinks brands targeting children online.
Called “Stop Targeting Kids,” the campaign is seeking to sign up 30,000 supporters to back its call for Government intervention to protect children’s health. This petition is the latest step in the charity’s fight to protect children from obesity following its research published last summer ‘Who’s Feeding the Kids Online’.
The campaign was created by WONDR, the digital agency which was co-founded in 2015 by Sébastien Sicot and Dermot O’Shea.
According to Chris Macey, head of advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation: “The purpose of our campaign is to show parents how multinational junk brands can follow their children wherever they go – in school, at home and even in their bedrooms through their smart phones. It’s almost like your child has their own individual marketer following them around. They get onto children’s newsfeeds and interact like real friends. But all these marketers really want to do is encourage children to consume as much junk as possible, regardless of the impact on their health. These often-hidden tactics are almost impossible for parents to see which is a key impetus for this campaign.”
“We believe the Government is failing in its duty of care to protect children from the damage that junk brand advertising is having on their health and we are seeking the public’s support to force stronger action by signing our petition,” he says.
“Junk brands have an inappropriate proximity to our kids. This proximity gives them influence. However, we would never give a stranger this level of access to our kids. We decided to make junk brands the stranger and in doing so highlight their agenda while exposing their targeting techniques,” says Sébastien Sicot.