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Coco Pops cleared in ad row

A poster encouraging children to eat Kellogg’s Coco Pops as an after-school snack did not break advertising rules, a watchdog said today.

The advertisement, featuring cartoon character Coco the monkey dressed in school uniform, and reading: “Ever thought of Coco Pops after school?” drew 21 complaints that it was irresponsible for encouraging children to eat a high-sugar snack.

Some complainants, including Sustain’s Children’s Food Campaign, said it encouraged children to eat two bowls of breakfast cereal a day.

Defending the advert, Kellogg’s said there was no UK or EU definition of “high” sugar content, but added that Coco Pops contained less sugar than other snacks such as bananas, fruit yoghurt and toast and jam.

The company argued that because Coco Pops were a source of iron, B vitamins and calcium when eaten with milk, the cereal had fewer calories and greater nutritional benefit than the snacks it sought to replace.

The Advertising Standards Authority rejected the complaints, but said Coco Pops were classed as high in sugar because they contained 34g of sugar per 100g, meaning it was advisable to eat them in moderation.

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