Earlier this summer, the BSDHT announced deep concerns about Rowntree’s ‘The Smile Factory’ advertising campaign, labelling it hugely misleading and irresponsible for its portrayal of sugary sweets being linked to happiness and smiling.
In a letter received by the BSDHT, Nestlé has acknowledged its responsibility in advertising towards children and has reviewed the campaign accordingly.
As a result, Nestlé has confirmed that it will not continue to use the strapline ‘The Smile Factory’ as part of its advertising with immediate effect.
President of the BSDHT, Michaela ONeill, believes this swift and decisive action should be a catalyst for other sweet manufacturers in reviewing their own advertising campaigns: ‘This is a positive action from Nestlé of which we are highly appreciative; they have listened to our concerns and recognised that real care is needed when advertising sugary foods, especially to children.
‘It is only with the support and actions of the food and drink industry that we can make an impact on the shocking state of children’s oral health in the UK.
‘More than 33,000 children underwent tooth extractions last year due to rotten teeth, what’s more, it is a much wider issue than oral health and is one of the key factors in the UK’s obesity epidemic.
‘We recognise that “The Smile Factory” campaign was not intended to directly target children but through its use of bright colours and cartoon-like nature it did undoubtedly appeal to them.
‘We urge all food and drink manufacturers to think more carefully about their advertising campaigns in the future and about the wider health implications of their messaging.
‘We would again like to extend our gratitude to Nestlé for taking action on this and also call on them to do more to try and change the course of oral health in the UK through further decisive action.’