Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Truth in Advertising? Pfft!!!

It's hard enough to decide what to feed out kids today, deciphering nurtition panels, de-coding food additives and pronouncing tert-Butylhydroquinone.

Then along come smarmy old Meadow Lea. Sinking to a new advertising low. First of all, we see a TV advert with a cardiologist talking about how butter is evil and showing a massive pile of butter representing a year's worth of intake and talking about saturated fat..

Then said cardiologist suggests using a margarine spread instead. Oh yes, much better, plant sterols etc., etc.

Now my issue isn't even with the whole butter/margarine debate, it's about how NOWHERE on this ad is there any mention of who paid to put this ad on TV.

Because, in a startling co-incidence, every time this ad shows, two ads later, an ad for Meadow Lea is shown. What serendipity!!! They even show a remarkably similar shot of seeds sitting radiantly in the palm of a hand.

What this means is, for those not paying attention or easily mislead, they think a cardiologist has recommended Meadow Lea. Quick! Let's rush to the store and buy some!!

Now personally, I stick to the theory that the less a food has been interfered with, the better. I think a little bit of butter and other fats in a healthy, active child's diet is better than margarine, which I'm still suss on.

Never mind that margarine is usually hydrogenated and full of trans-fatty acids that raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol just like the saturated fats in butter, but have you ever tasted it? Blurgh...

I'm not saying don't eat margarine if that's your choice, I'm no dietician and plenty of people know more about nutrition than me. What I am saying is know when you are being sold to and manipulated.



  1. Isn't that illegal or something!? I mean... I am no lawyer or anything but that sounds a bit suss to me! You go girl! x

  2. ahhh I haven't seen these ads but sounds dodgerama. Well spoken Quixy. Love your line about the serendipity! so true - lets beat these manipulative and clever advertisers at their own game with more posts like this!

  3. Ads can be very sneaky. Like the nutella or cocopops ads saying they are good for kids... yeah right!!!

  4. There is a specific strategy behind displays and food arrangment at the market too!

  5. Let's go one better. Take a tub of margarine and set it outside and watch the LACK of insect life that goes around it. What does go on it dies there.. now if a ROACH won't touch it then I am pretty sure I don't need to be ingesting it. Oh yeah and let's not forget that if you ADD one molecule of Hydrogen to ANY margarine you will have the molecular structure of the SAME plastic tub it comes in..

  6. I'm with you, the less you interfere with my food, the more I'll eat it!! Thanks for the heads up!

    Your blog is really pretty, glad I found you! I'm your newest follower!

  7. I went through about 2.5 years where I was obsessed with what kind of food I put in my body. I was strictly vegan. All organic. I was in the best shape of my life. However, somewhere around the 8 month mark of my pregnancy that organic, soy, ice cream wasn't cutting it.

    Everything in moderation. I think we know what is good for us and what isn't, it's just a matter of putting down the oreos and picking up the apple.

  8. Very stinky. We always use real butter and other things that are minimally messed around with. I mean, I don't feel like I want to wear a sandwich board about it or anything, but we eat organically frequently and try to use our brains. Plus, margarine smells like ass.

  9. Did you know that the sale of coloured margarine was banned in Australia until the 1960's? I won't touch the stuff - it's pure chemicals.

  10. I'm a cynic when it comes to advertising of any kind, having worked in the media I've seen how much it's played. Plus I've had close family work in advertising for years.
    I'm also a butter girl. Though with both parents having had heart attacks (my dad's had 2), I'm constantly being told by them and doctors to lose the butter and take up a plant sterol spread.
    I think I'll just keep up my small amount of French butter (it's so expensive I can't lather it on) and my lashings of olive oil.

  11. Well, your Grandpa always said margarine would kill you. Loved his butter. (I'm sure it was the cigarettes, sugar and coffee that got him, not the butter!!)

  12. Yes, I just saw this ad this morning and had the same thoughts. Very sneaky. Like my personal favourite - the formula ad that has a paediatrician talking about wanting the best of health for our children and then she walks past a 'mum' who then takes over with how fab this particulat formula is. Ergo, it looks like the paediatrician is recommending the formula, but she actually doesn't, it is the mums opinion that takes over.

    Really irks me this topic, advertisers that think we are stoopid.

    And don't get me started on the face CREAM that has syringe like markings on the side and is held up like you would a syringe between two fingers and themb supporting the bottom by some Claudia Schiffer type model (I think maybe it was her) with an ingredient that sounds like botox in it, but actually isn't. Wow, it must act just like botox as it sounds like that and looks like a syringe, must go get some now!!

  13. How do you pronounce: tert-Butylhydroquinone? And what on earth is it?

  14. Well said. My husband actually ranted about this ad last night - and he NEVER pays attention to ads. Damned irresponsible stuff. Luckily we've always told our daughter that we choose food with as few ingredients as possible - and I reckon butter (with its milk and salt!) falls into that category quite nicely!

  15. Hi, at the end of the add you will see the Goodman Fielder Logo (makers of meadowlea,and Heart Foundation logo...yep I will no longer be giving my $ to this charity), I have sent an email to The Heart Foundation asking them to clarify :-) and provide me with the studies that back the adverts claims that margarine is better, I have also asked them to explain the margarine making process to me and how a handfull of seeds is turned into Margarine.
    I am still awaiting a reply.
    best regards
    Malanda FNQ

  16. I am with you on the butter v margarine thing!
    And I saw this ad yesterday and said "Blah" to myself. This is one of the reasons I HATE advertising!!

  17. Butter all the way. Guess what? I even like to use lard to cook with. Really, how bad can it be? It's two ingredients: rendered fat and salt. Both ingredients I can pronounce without having to use everything I learned in chemistry classes (biochemistry and organic chemistry), so I figure that using it in moderation is a lot better than using foods with multi-syllable chemicals with abandon.

  18. Oh hells bells....I wrote a big ole, long comment and it got deleted. Anyway, I agree with ya!

  19. Wow! This certainly got a reaction from you all!! I have replied to most, except the no-reply@blogger people, so let me just say:

    Aliie that ad really irks me too, I think I might write a post on all the dodgy ads out there - any more suggestions everyone?

    Louise, I'm sorry I didn't see your comment before I wrote my latest follow up post on this, but yep, the logos are now shown, though they weren't earlier. Good catch!


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