Complaint against online adver-game dismissed

Advertising regulators in the UK have dismissed a complaint aimed at a game developed by candy company Haribo.

The side-scrolling adventure, posted at its corporate website, was called "Haribo Super Mix Challenge" and sent players on a surreal quest to collect as much "smooth, squidgy and soft" candy as possible. Britain's Children's Food Campaign objected, claiming that it encouraged excessive consumption of unhealthy food and should be banned.

In response, Haribo's parent company said that the intention was not to promote "excessive consumption", but simply to promote the different varieties of candy that it produces.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed, pointing out that the surreal game presented the act of consumption in an "abstract" manner, with a bear in a car driving around the countryside, and lacked high score charts and other game design elements that encourage repetitive play: "We therefore considered that the game neither condoned nor encouraged excessive consumption of the product or poor nutritional habits in children."

ASA Adjudication on Dunhills []


  1. “lacked … game design elements that encourage repetitive play”

    Translation:  It wasn’t a very good game. 

    You know what was an amazing food industry game?  Chex Quest.  It was essentially a reskinned, G-Rated Doom or Wolf3D, and whoever made it put in a lot more work than most adver-games. 

  2. At least this one got dismissed. I feel like this is similar to the Cookie Monster thing – I realize the cookie monster thing is a bit more blatant in regards to consumption, but I still have trouble believing cookie monster wolfing down cookies on some 5 minute segments of Sesame Street is really going to encourage habits in children that may lead to obesity. I don’t think people/children playing this game are going to run out and buy all the varieties of candy they collected online.

    1.  I agree… The only childrens’ character I recall feeling an interest in emulating food-wise as a little kid was Bugs Bunny, and as soon as I tried tasting actual raw carrot, I decided he was eating Cheetos in disguise to please the adults.

        1. From the account’s comment history I’d say someone really enamoured with splitting words without good reason, rather than troll. For example, an earlier comment on CNN contained “peace meal” instead of “piecemeal.”

  3. Some one is really going to complain about a video game that seems to encourage children to eat even more unhealthy food.  Obviously, they are oblivious to their surroundings, because it is not just video games.  Maybe if the bear was doing a little jogging or biking around the countryside that would have been better.  Really, some people have way to much time on their hands.  It’s a game, besides, by the time most school age kids sit down to play the usual 2-3 hours of video games, they have already had their sugary snacks, not necessarily made by Haribo.

    1.  I would have thought the name of the organisation (Britain’s Children’s Food Campaign) would have given a good clue to the fact that this is exactly the sort of thing that they spend their time doing.  I watch a fair bit of kids TV with my children, the only  advert remotely related to sweets/candy I can remember seeing is for sugar coated breakfast cereals, so no, they are not oblivious to their surroundings, and must have actually been doing quite a good job ridding the UK of anything promoting unhealthy eating to children; well apart from McDonalds and Coke sponsoring the Olympics! =)

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