Parents want drinks retailer Coca-Cola Amatil to stop marketing sugary drinks to kids at the Sydney Olympic Park Splash Festival this weekend.
One of the highlights of the Splash Festival is a giant slide which has two enormous inflatable Coca-Cola bottles at the bottom, clearly promoting the sugary drink to children taking part in the festival.
The Splash Festival will take place on Sunday 27 September at the Aquatic Centre and is promoted by Sydney Olympic Park as “the ultimate family fun day with non-stop entertainment”.
Parents are demanding that Sydney Olympic Park and Coca-Cola Amatil remove the inflatable promotional items from the festival and immediately cease marketing sugary drinks to children who will attend the event.
Alice Pryor, Campaigns Manager for The Parents’ Jury, said: “Coca-Cola is clearly using these giant inflatable bottles to market its sugary drink to young children. We know that one in four Australian children are obese or overweight and that sugary drinks play a major part in weight gain and tooth decay in children. Public health campaigns have done a lot of good work in educating the community and children about the consequences of consuming sugary drinks. This kind of marketing to kids in 2015 is completely unacceptable.
“Parents are also annoyed that Sydney Olympic Park has allowed this type of marketing to take place in a public aquatic centre which should be a safe space where children are not subjected to this type of promotion,” said Ms Pryor.
Mum of two from Hurlstone Park, Sydney, Lynne Scouller, is unhappy with the Coca Cola slide: “The Splash Festival is a great event for children during the school holidays and parents love to see them take part in fun physical activities. However, associating these giant Coca-Cola bottles with fun times and being active, when we know that the real thing is packed full of sugar is not the message I want my kids to receive.”
Ms Pryor added: “Using these branded inflatable bottles at the Splash Festival means that Coca-Cola Amatil is arguably in breach of its own Advertising and Promotion to Children Policy. Obesity in children is a huge problem for our society and we need drinks retailers and venue organisers to act responsibly by not promoting unhealthy sugary drinks to children.”