Advertising lies by the food manufacturers

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Foodwatch consumer organization urges consumers to vote on advertising lies

The pledges with which food manufacturers lure their customers are often hard to beat. That is why the consumer protection organization Foodwatch annually awards the "Golden Cream Puff" with which consumers can choose the company, which they believe has spread "the brazenest advertising lie of the year".

The negative award of the "Golden Windbag" offers consumers the opportunity to brand companies with particularly bold advertising promises and thus increase the pressure on food manufacturers to provide honest information on their products. The consumer organization Foodwatch offers until June 16 the opportunity to choose between five companies chosen by an independent jury with particularly brazen advertising lies. This gives consumers the chance to make it clear to food manufacturers that they disagree with their misleading advertising practices, explained the head of the Foodwatch campaign.

Five food products are available due to misleading information The Foodwatch explained that there are five candidates on the website for the negative price of the “Golden Windbag”, whose product declarations particularly mislead consumers. "Given the everyday misleading behavior of the food industry, consumers have every reason to be angry," stressed the head of the Foodwatch campaign, Anne Markwardt, and added that consumers can now vent their anger by choosing the "golden cream puff". Each vote cast shows the manufacturers that the advertising practices used will not be tolerated. The articles proposed by the jury include the "Ferdi Fuchs Mini Sausages" for children from Stockmeyer, which are advertised as "The daily contribution to healthy eating", but according to Foodwatch, for example, contain too high a salt content. Furthermore, the yogurt "Activia" from the manufacturer Danone is available, since in the opinion of the consumer organization it is "neither a miracle weapon against indigestion nor a guarantee for perfect intestinal well-being". However, Danone claims that "scientifically proven" is that "Activia, when consumed daily, can help regulate sluggish digestion and reduce bloated feelings." For Foodwatch, this is misleading consumers who have been awarded the "Golden Cream Puff" would justify.

Healthy sweets and natural pickled cucumbers with colors and flavors? The “Nimm2” sweets from the manufacturer Storck are also available, as Foodwatch is used to advertise, but the advertised “valuable vitamins” are generally completely superfluous, explained Foodwatch. The adolescents are suggested that the “Nimm 2” sweets suggest that they can cover their daily vitamin needs with sweets instead of using fruits or vegetables, Foodwatch justified the nomination. Another candidate for the "Golden Cream Puff" is the "milk cuts" from Ferrero. Because in the context of advertising - with the help of top athletes as advertising partners - a food consisting of around 60 percent fat and sugar is advertised as a light snack, criticized Foodwatch. Kuehne's "Gourmet Goodies" from Kühne also received a place on the nomination list for the "Golden Cream Puff", as the pickled cucumbers advertised as a craft product with centuries-old tradition and "best natural ingredients", according to Foodwatch, contain different flavors and a colorant.

Dispensing with brazen advertising lies For consumers, the product declarations of food manufacturers are often confusing and sometimes the information limits deliberate deception. Not all advertising lies are as conspicuous as with the nominated articles, and consumers probably don't even notice many of the small falsehoods. With campaigns such as the current “Golden Cream Puff” election, consumer organizations are continually trying to raise critical awareness among consumers and send a signal to food manufacturers that misleading is no longer accepted. However, the success is usually rather modest and the manufacturers do not feel compelled to change their product declarations and advertising measures. Simply doing without the relevant articles would make it absolutely necessary for the manufacturers to act here, since the associated loss in sales would hit food producers where it particularly hurts them. It is doubtful whether an award like the “Golden Cream Puff” can cause a rethink on the manufacturer side. Rather, the negative award should be understood as a call to consumers to boycott the corresponding products, because in the end, only by foregoing consumption can the pressure on food manufacturers be increased so that they change their behavior. (fp)

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Image: Jörg Siebauer /

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