We'll call you: Kellogg

Mole is concerned that a Facebook game promoting the cereal brand's latest white-chocolate variant might influence children, and wanted to find out more

Kellogg: Good morning, you're through to Kellogg, (name) speaking, how can I help?

Mktg: Hi I'm calling about the new white-chocolate Krave cereal. I understand there is some kind of game to advertise this on Facebook.

Kellogg: Oh right, I'm not aware of this, to be honest.

Mktg: OK, I've been told there's a game on Facebook that's promoting it, but it sounds pretty much like it's directed at children. I don't want my children to have a sugary or chocolate cereal promoted to them.

Kellogg: Krave is not aimed at children. It's aimed at what we would call the mid-range of late teens to adults. If there is a game on Facebook it would be aimed at the same age range.

Mktg: But how can you guarantee that it's going to be seen only by people in that age range?

Kellogg: Well, I need to find out if there is such a game, because I'm not aware of one.

Mktg: There definitely is one.

Kellogg: I'm just going to put you on hold. (Mktg holds.) We believe there is a game on Facebook, but, as I explained, it's aimed at late teens and adults.

Mktg: OK, but if kids are on Facebook - mine are on it, and they're nine - how can you guarantee they won't see it?

Kellogg: We can't, but legally they have to be 16 to register with Facebook anyway.

Mktg: But kids are on Facebook all the time.

Kellogg: I'm well aware of that, but they're not supposed to be.

Mktg: That's true, but studies have proved there are kids as young as seven on Facebook, so why hasn't Kellogg taken that into account?

Kellogg: What do you want me to say? I can't answer that. We are following the Institute of Promotional Management and their regulations. I know that children are on Facebook, but is it something that we should be taking into consideration?

Mktg: I think it is.

Kellogg: It's the same for our site, we get several calls a day saying, 'my child has registered on your site'. Well, they can't, because they have to be 16.

Mktg: Well obviously they can. I mean, is it gated?

Kellogg: It is gated, but if they give an incorrect date of birth, what can we do?

Mktg: OK, well, this hasn't been helpful, but thanks anyway.

VERDICT: 2 out of 10

The call-handler was not aware of the promotion and was poorly informed: children must be 13 to use Facebook, not 16. She did not offer the caller a chance to place a complaint or find more information.


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