The Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice) has held that an advertising campaign by Kelloggs in 2003, ‘Kellogg’s [the apostrophe remains part of the name even in German – see comments] Frosties für den Schulsport’, violates competition law. The action was started by a consumer umbrella organization, vzbv (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband). The judgment has not yet been published.
Der Bundesgerichtshof hat nach vierjähriger Verfahrensdauer eine im Jahr 2003 durchgeführte Werbeaktion der Firma Kellogg “Kellogg’s Frosties für den Schulsport” als wettbewerbswidrig erachtet. Die Werbung sei geeignet, die geschäftliche Unerfahrenheit von Kindern und Jugendlichen auszunutzen, lautete das in der vergangenen Woche verkündete Urteil. Mit dem Musterverfahren wollte der vzbv klären lassen, wo die Grenzen der Schulwerbung liegen. “Wir hoffen, dass mit den Grundsätzen des Bundesgerichtshofs der immer weiter um sich greifenden Kommerzialisierung an Schulen dauerhaft Einhalt geboten werden kann”, kommentierte vzbv-Vorstand Prof. Dr. Edda Müller den Richterspruch.
The idea was that children collected Tony dollars (Tony Taler) from Kelloggs products and exchanged them for sports goods for their school. To get a badminton set for 50 Taler, you had to buy about 59 packets of Frosties at EUR 2.79 each.
The IPKAT has heard of this and says it couldn’t happen in Britain – British schools would just take the money.
The IPKat says, this case accentuates a big cultural difference between the Germans and the British. The Germans say, here’s a a cynical abuse of childish desire for the sake of marketing a big commercial brand. The Brits say, “come on, let’s buy some more cereal before the offer expires!”. Merpel says, it is a cynical exploitation, yes – but is it wrong to do it in a free market in which all Kellogg’s competitors are able to do exactly the same thing?
Yes, if we could stop everything that children could become addicted to to the impoverishment of their parents, we would certainly not stop at Kellogg’s Frosties.
Here’s something from a British school from the Google cache:
Kellogg’s amicable Frosties character, Tony the Tiger, paid a surprise visit to the school. He distributed a mixed selection of Kellogg’s cereal bars to the four year old children attending the Kindergarten classes.
Kellogg’s cereal bars are a new and healthy snack that can be eaten at breakfast or at any time of the day. They are delicious and rich in cereals and come in different tastes. The bars are individually wrapped and are convenient for a quick snack.