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."

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