Monday, February 09, 2009

melts in your arteries, not in your hand

I know you're as fascinated by the minutiae of advertising law and food packaging as I am, so this will be of keen interest to you.

No doubt the conversation at the Cadbury marketing department meeting went something like this - look, we want to get into the health food market, but the trouble is, these cereal bars taste like cardboard. Really, you'd be better off eating the packaging. So what should we do? Hang on - what if we dip the fuckers in chocolate? That'll up the old interest levels a bit. Brilliant! And we can call them, I dunno, Brunch Bars or something, just to tap into that whole Milky Way OK-to-eat-between-meals thing. Right, knock out some packaging and let's get these babies in the shops.

But there's a problem. Some sort of regulations decree that you can't call it a "health bar" if its fat content exceeds a certain threshold (I'm guessing, but I suspect there are regulations of this nature), and the Brunch Bar has something like four to six times the fat of "real" low-fat cereal bars (the ones that taste like wicker placemats). That'll be the chocolate. What they came up with has a certain fiendish genius to it:

Note how the words "better for you" and "wholesome" are in quotes, thus making no actual claim about the health-giving properties of the bars. The phrase "loaded with lots of good things" was obviously deemed vague and non-specific enough not to need the quotes. "Cereal" is fine too because, well, they do have cereal in them, which gives a spurious whiff of healthiness; then again a Toffee Crisp does as well. So you get a definite air of fruity grainy healthy wholesome nutritiousness, without any actual testable claims being made. It's all very clever.

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