tip off

Don’t sell KFC, MacGill tells his cricketing mates

Former Test spinner Stuart MacGill is adamant sports and sports stars should not accept money to promote food brands like KFC and McDonald’s. “I don’t think you can have any of us advertising junk food to be honest,” he told Crikey.

MacGill, who retired from Test cricket in 2008 and has been making a career in commercial radio, is particularly concerned about Test cricketers’ endorsement of KFC, which is owned by the world’s largest fast-food company, Yum Brands.

For the last eight years, KFC has been a “gold partner” of Cricket Australia, spending up to $8 million a year on marketing and promotion linked to the sport. For this it gets TV ads, endorsements from the Australian team and Channel Nine commentators, a KFC Classic Catches competition and billboards at the games. KFC also gets naming rights to the Big Bash Twenty20 competition, televised by Fox Sports, and the title of Australian cricket’s official fast food restaurant. All up, it probably pays Cricket Australia between $1 million and $2 million a year.

The problem for me is that KFC and Cricket Australia are hitting parents where they’re vulnerable,” said MacGill, who has two young children. “Parents are already under a lot of pressure from kids to buy this stuff and when you get the Australian cricket team endorsing it you just increase that pressure. It’s just wrong in so many ways.

Cricket Australia and KFC would say they’re promoting a healthy lifestyle, but it’s absolute tripe.”

Just before he retired, MacGill refused Cricket Australia’s instruction to take part in a TV ad for KFC. “They had just accused me publicly of being unfit and told me I would have to lose weight if I wanted to play again. And I just hit the roof. I said: “you’re telling me I’m fat and you want me to do a KFC ad? Well, you’ve got to be crazy. I’m not going to do it.’”

Australia’s elite cricketers are required to do KFC ads for free as part of their contract with Cricket Australia, and MacGill had no right to refuse. But Cricket Australia did not force the issue. “They backed off pretty quickly,” he said. “They could see that the press might say something, and if the press didn’t I would.”

MacGill also has concerns about Milo’s junior cricket program, which has been running since 1993 and has introduced 5 million young Australians to the game: “I don’t think Milo would exist any more in Australia if it weren’t for Milo cricket. It’s been the greatest marketing exercise of all time.

It’s not even called cricket, it’s ‘Milo in2cricket’. First day they turn up they get a bat, a bag, a hat and a shirt, which are all branded Milo, then they have to wear that every time they play. It’s just a brandathon. At least it makes my kids drink milk, but I don’t really want them drinking chocolate milk, and yet we’ve got Milo in our house.”

Rob de Castella, Australia’s former world-champion marathon runner, shares MacGill’s concerns: “I certainly have major problems with sports men and women and organisations taking money from fast food or junk food companies. I had a couple of offers to do ads for fast food companies when I was an athlete and I always turned them down because I had a moral objection.

I’d say to anyone considering it: be very conscious of the effect your endorsement is going to have on the future lives of young Australians. And it’s not just the physical consequences of obesity, it’s the social and emotional consequences as well.

Some sportspeople don’t care. Some are driven by agents, who want their fees and commissions, like any other business. But the individuals have got to recognise they’re putting their reputation alongside something that they may not really want to be associated with.”

MacGill said today’s top young cricketers don’t even think about what they’re being asked to do: “They just know they’ve got to turn up, do what they’re told and there’s going to be lots of media.”

KFC defends its use of cricket to sell its wares. “We’re proud of our sponsorship of cricket in Australia which, aside from promoting KFC, also funds a large number of community programs across the country to encourage children to play the game and be active,” a spokesperson said. “It is a positive initiative and we are delighted to be involved.”

It also defends its high-fat, high-energy meals, telling people to think of KFC as “something which should be enjoyed as an occasional treat and as part of a balanced diet that includes exercise”.

Something which you won’t find in a KFC ad. Or the fact its Tower Burger, advertised by fast bowler Doug Bollinger and cricket commentators Bill Lawry and Tony Greig this summer, has one-third of an adult’s daily energy needs, or almost a half if you add French fries.

According to NSW Cancer Council nutritionist Kathy Chapman: “KFC has no redeeming nutritional qualities, and is full of fat and kilojoules, and is the sort of food product that displaces more nutritious foods (like a home cooked dinner of chicken and vegetables). It’s the worst of all.”

just chew it

57
  • 1
    simon.chapman
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Paul — can you pls get in touch — I have some related stuff you might be interested in on this. simon.chapman@sydney.edu.au

  • 2
    scot mcphee
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    to add to all this, and to illustrate that KFC’s stated position about their food is total bullshit, they are currently running a non-sports campaign in which they are encouraging their consumers to eschew food for “pigeons”, home-cooked family dinner, etc for their fat filled kiljoule-busting rubbish.

  • 3
    Daemon
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    About bloody time one of our elite athletes/role models grew some balls and a spine.

    Good on you MacGill..

  • 4
    Daemon
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Actually that reminds me why we don’t eat that shit. My wife popped in to the local KFC some weeks ago and got a snack of 2 pieces and chips and spent the next several days on the Karzee.

    It seriously gives her the shits.

  • 5
    rhonda.wilson
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    :-) - nice article! *agree*

  • 6
    Sir Lunchalot
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that subway was announced today to be the biggest chain globally and has been the biggest in Australia for some years.

    People are looking for healthier fast foods. At least the fat content is low if you get a vegetarian or tuna one

  • 7
    Sean
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Not an ad, but Subway is surprisingly inexpensive as well I just realised on a tour of my local food court — 5 bucks for a large 6” sub with loads of salad, even cheaper if you get a 12” and share with someone. That’s cheaper than most of the sandwich shops too — just look at the overpriced ‘wraps’ everywhere. Although you could probably also blame certain mega-rich shopping mall owners for charging exorbitant, outrageous rents to all their retailers (less the anchor stores).

  • 8
    mseal10
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Good on you Stuart & Rob. Apart from what it may be doing to the kids, KFC have turned me off the game (and I used to record the test match commentary on an audio tape machine as a kid and listen to it back at night, I was seriously addicted). I’m someone who has played and consumed the game most of my life and have now just had it with all these mind-numbing offensive intrusions. I’m pretty sure I’m either not turning up in the research (they probably don’t test for lapsed AND vocal) or they’re ignoring it, quite a few of my friends feel the same way. I’ve wondered recently if I’m witnessing the destruction of an entire code of sport (I’m not blaming it all on KFC but they’re certainly part of it).

  • 9
    puddleduck
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Three cheers for Stuart McGill. I always thought he was a man of integrity, and it shows he still is.

    KFC is also behind extensive cruelty to chickens - ever thought about the factory farms the chicken meat comes from? It used to take 16 weeks for a chicken to grow to 1.6kg. Now it takes 5 weeks. How does that happen? Think about it.

    Time to call KFC on their marketing crap - I hope this is the start of something big.

  • 10
    RamaStar
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    But it’s ok for Stuart MacGill to promote alcohol?

    The media and politicians has discussed that there are increasing rates of underage binge drinking. Alcoholism is also a problem in Australian society. It’s hard to rank, but who is to say that it isn’t just as bad/important as obesity. Yet it’s ok for him (and I by extension other sport start) to promote booze which can have just as serious if not more serious health side effects.

    Look I agree with what MacGill said about junk food promotion. But you could draw the same long bow about his endorsement of Wolfblass wines that it encourages people to drink to unhealthy levels. And therefore I think it’s all a little hypocritical.

  • 11
    scg
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    hi ramastar…i completely understand your point of view re my promotion of alcohol. paul barrie and i discussed that also, and im happy to share my opinion with you too. the problem as i see it is that fast food chains target kids, and do so using elite athletes who could probably eat junk all day every day and still burn it off. having said that, most modern sportsmen (not me… i’m the old fat variety) count every calory that passes their lips and rarely go down the junk food road. I on the other hand am more than happy to admit that i will be having a glass of wine later this afternoon.

  • 12
    RamaStar
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ll say this and hope that I don’t come across as smart a-se or disrespectful, but I’ll take in good faith that SCG is actually you Stuart MacGill :)

    I’ll also so that I’m not having , or was trying to have a go at you personally, or question or character. [If I wanted to, I’d fall back on my Victorian leanings and say Warnie was a better bowler! :) ]

    I appreciate your point about fast food targeting kids. But I’ve seen the Warne chicken McBytes adds, and while it may target kids, I don’t think Macca’s went out to specifically target kids. They’re going for a broad audience with the Warne promotions. I think getting kids is a by-product of their advertising.
    On that same vein, I think the Wolfblass ad’s clearly targeted adults, but also I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some kids who were caught by the ad, and found it impressionable.

    Yes, fast food does target young kids, and that is bad, it’ll affect their health in the long term. But kids are they’re growth market. But Alcohol also targets kids in a way. All be it in their mid to late teens. They target youth (I’ll use the term youth as persons 16-22) with advertising in the hope they will become their customers and purchase their brand. And as I said, with increased rates of binge drinking at this youth age group, isn’t this type of marketing/advertising just a predatory and in the long term just as harmful to health?

    I’m not going to use you and Wolfblass as a text book case of this sort of youth marketing. I think the Wolfblass ad’s were more aimed at trying to get adults to switch to wine. But look at the talking Boon dolls with VB, the 4X ad’s and V8 Supercars.
    I think that this is an issue that is just as serious as the one being presented here, and should be highlighted. And yeah, as I said in first post, maybe just slightly hypocritical to say one is ok, but the other isn’t.

  • 13
    scot mcphee
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    In defence of S.C.G.Macgill, he is advertising wine, a generally very adult drink. I’ve not seen the Wolfblass ads however. And Stuart has also hosted a wine show on Foxtel (Lifestyle channel I think), which might have also added to his marketability in terms of advertising wines.

    Kids, i.e. teenagers, tend to binge-drink beer, Alcopops, and mixer drinks e.g. Rum/Bourbon and Coke, and those ads definitely skew to a younger demographic. So I think this is a derail. KFC is everywhere and definitely targeted at a pre-teen market, and they definitely target their ads in other contexts as replacements for healthy diets.

  • 14
    Sean
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Yes, definitely a derail, not that it helps KFC’s case any…

    I doubt Mr MacGill’s endorsement of one winemaker is going to go straight to the sensibilities of every present and would-be alcoholic out there, and they will commence getting very drunk on wine, and not just any wine, but Wolf Blass wine in particular. And ordinary BBQs and dinner parties will now be ordering in tons of the stuff where they might have had a few bottles, and a dozen adults will be so taken by an ad they will quaff far far more of the stuff than they ever ordinarily would, regardless of hangovers and fitness for work the next day. All from the power of that ad.

    Apart from what anyone might think of wines from Wolf Blass, the ‘little Aussie blender’.

    Pester power from impressionable kids and the appeal of cricket stars, junk food and colourful food outlets is another thing altogether. Witness the pulling power of toys from the latest kids’ movies in Happy Meals — now being ‘unbundled’ in the US by law.

  • 15
    Philostrate
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Onya Stuart, Paul Barry & Crikey! And Simon Chapman as well for his great work. The relentless marketing of fast food crap is going to damage a whole generation. And I agree wholeheartedly about sportsmen advertising alcohol as well - has to end! These fast food companies and breweries have so much clout over governments …. and they have used sports for years to get at kids and youth - so more power to your expose! (Check out the US book Fast Food Nation for a detailed and scary account of what these corporates are up to …)

  • 16
    Nic Halley
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff and well done Stuart MacGill & Rob de Castella for speaking out.

    I dont hink anyone seriously believes the spin that it has no impact. In 10 years we will be viewing junk food advertising the same way we view cigarette advertising now

  • 17
    MLF
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree to, it’s terrific to see role models actually being role models.

    I do however think there is a difference btw Cricket Aust being sponsored by KFC and the local kids football league being sponsored in the same way. Well, maybe KFC is a particularly bad example… But sponsorship funding is invaluable to community groups, and without it, many, many children and groups would be detrimentally affected.

    I think the concern should be focussed on recognized, respected sporting groups and sports people not taking their responsibilities seriously. It’s that level of marketing that is grossly irresponsible, not social marketing.

  • 18
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Good on you Stuart for speaking on the record, and Paul for investigating and compiling.

    I always found from my previous work in advertising that the indifference and looking-the-other-way that went on was the hardest thing to work amongst. No one (99.94% of the time, anyway) in the industry breaks the law.. but it is a money driven industry, with no value is placed on health.

    Perhaps current regulation needs to be reviewed?

  • 19
    Sense Seeker
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Great article, and excellent action by MacGill.

    Advertising works (or why spend so much money on it?), so in order to protect our kids (and adults, I’m inclined to say) we need rules to limit it.

    Another favourite of mine is a junk food tax. But somehow tax seems a dirty word in this country - more so than junk food, strangely.

  • 20
    brewesan
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    So, a KFC tower burger has a 1/3 of daily calories? Then, if I only eat 3 meals a day, and choose healthy cereal for breakfast and a salad for lunch, eating KFC is no problem…?!

  • 21
    zut alors
    Posted Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Good on Stuart MacGill - who seems to be the salmon swimming against the stream. Sport has become an exploitative industry and is no longer about playing games for the sheer love of physical and mental activity.

    As for KFC: in one of Jamie Oliver’s series he demonstrated to a roomful of British kids precisely which ingredients are piled in to industrial blenders to make the fried chicken nuggets to which they were all addicted. Much shock and dismay was seen on their little faces.

  • 22
    Johnfromplanetearth
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    MacGill is a dill, i just went over to the health food shop opposite me here, what a great range of healthy sandwiches they have there, tasty too, i enjoy them myself. What MacDill forgets completely while talking through his red wine intoxicated mouth is the average price for a healthy salad sandwhich is $8.50! People cannot afford to eat healthy, put yourself in their shoes if they have any, i can afford to buy a healthy sandwich, most people can’t. If a Family goes to this shop and buys 4 healthy sandwiches plus drinks they will be up for close to $50, if they go to KFC they will get a way with a family meal for about $25, what do you reckon will be their choice? The average Australian family is being to taxed to the shizenhausen and it’s all about affordability, MaCdill was considered a pain in the arse by his former teammates and nothing has changed!

  • 23
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    @ Johnfromplanetearth: ‘…the average price for a healthy salad sandwhich is $8.50! People cannot afford to eat healthy, put yourself in their shoes if they have any…’

    Actually, the price of healthy food is a fraction of the $50 you quote because sandwiches can be made at home just like many people did back in the Middle Ages (aka the 20th century). If people are so broke they can’t afford health food shop fare then they should opt for practical alternatives. And why blow away money on drinks when you can refill bottles with water at home? Apart from commercially bottled water most of the drinks are liquid sugar - yes even the allegedly vitamin-packed fruit juices. It would be a cinch to feed four people for under $10.

    I continue to hear about struggling families but suspect that many of them have never been taught about basic economising.

  • 24
    scot mcphee
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    This ad-hominem attack is very ugly. From planet Earth? Are you sure?

    For $25 you can feed four people healthily, easy; without going anywhere near KFC, or the “health food shop”. It’s called a supermarket. Plenty of people in my office do this (bring raw ingredients and make lunch in our office kitchen).

  • 25
    beccamm
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    what’s the big deal….

  • 26
    Markoi
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    You eat a lot of other junk food besides KFC & Mac’s…

  • 27
    rhwombat
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Bravo SCGM & Paul Barry. There was a bit of “John from Planet Dirt”-style commentary on this topic on a Pure Poison post a week or so ago. Funny how the rabid ratbags get their snickers in a knot over. Slainte.
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/02/04/weekend-thread-february-4-6/

  • 28
    Vinnie
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Whatever Stu McGill. Why didn’t you boycott the VB Series too? Or maybe booze and sport is ok? While we’re there, let’s boycott Xbox and Playstation too, they make our kids sit infront of the TV instead of riding a bike. Everything in moderation, and let’s face it, parents have a BIG role to play. Children will always use their “pester” power, for toys, for food, etc. You don’t become a parent thinking otherwise….

  • 29
    fitter
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Yeh good on your Stu. KFC is just disgusting food, its crazy that a brand like this is sponsoring the cricket, and yes they are aggressively targeting kids.
    Whats with Libby Trickett endorsing this crap? As if she touched the stuff when she was competing. Obviously they drove a dump truck full of money up to her house.

  • 30
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    @ Vinnie : ‘…parents have a BIG role to play. Children will always use their “pester” power, for toys, for food, etc.’

    You’ve neatly nailed it. At the risk of offending anyone with comparisons, it’s similar to training a dog ie: when the parent says ‘no’ they have to mean it and stick to their guns. Kids need that lesson early.

  • 31
    Vinnie
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    And you know what, you’re never going to win all your battles with kids. You just pick your fight. Let’s face it, i’m happy to take my boy to Maccas or let him have a slice of pizza once every couple of weeks. If he pesters me for it every night and i let him, who’s faield there??? Anywway i love my junk food, but off KFC now, and enjoy my weekend blowouts too!!! But i know i’ll suffer the next week as i’ll be at the gym at least 3 days to work off that burger. But it’s all worth it!!!!

  • 32
    SABA
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    On this note i wish cricket would return to its roots. I’m sick of sitting down to watch the ashes or a one day game to be constantly hounded by hopeless kfc advertising. “It’s just not cricket without the Colonel”, well it was three years ago when 3 were the leading sponsor. I wish their were no player commitment to sponsors, the rights were stripped from channel nine and cricket was given back to the abc, which at the moment has much more alluring commentary on Grandstand radio than the hopeless out dated commentary provided by channel 9, not to mention their shameless cross promotion during the middle of a match. Good on Stuart MacGill for voicing his opinion.

  • 33
    Stiofan
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    KFC “which is owned by the world’s largest fast-food company, Yum Brands”. The significance of that fact is what, precisely? It’s just a little bit of dog-whistling designed to appeal to Crikey’s core audience: KFC is part of a nasty multinational - and we all know what *that* means, don’t we, kids?

    MacGill “hit the roof” when asked to do a KFC ad? Well not quite: he hit the roof when asked to do a KFC ad at a time when he was apparently facing the threat of being dropped from the team. Out of curiosity: did he participate in any KFC promotions before that time?

    Rob de Castella, Australia’s former world-champion marathon runner, shares MacGill’s concerns …”.

    Is that the same Rob de Castella who is an advertising spokesman for a vitamin supplement produced by a multinational drug company?

  • 34
    rhwombat
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Stiofan: way to miss the point.

    Pushing high-fat foods to kids through aggressive advertising is a billion dollar industry in Australia, never mind the Land of the fat and the Home of the “Freedom fry. The fat epidemic is having more impact on Australian’s health than smoking (smokers die, type 2 diabetics linger longer and occupy more bed-days). As with cigarettes, we cannot regulate supply or ban the product, so the only way of attacking the aggressive promotion by totally amoral producers and marketers is to limit advertising and promotion to the obvious target groups. We know that doesn’t work well - look at the cigarette industry - but it’s all we have. The Paediatric Division of Royal Australasian College of Physicians has been trying to do something about junk food advertising for more than a decade, and has just been knocked back, yet again, at a federal level.

    Flogging vitamins may just make expensive urine, but it’s a good deal more moral than sucking up to your corporate bosses by sneering at those who have the guts and the profile to publicly call out the fat pushers, and the Media-Industrial complex who expend so much effort in keeping sweet, rich advertising calories flowing.

  • 35
    Stiofan
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    @RHWOMBAT

    Missing the point?

    The story is about MacGill’s standing up to KFC, an arm of a multinational. I simply asked for some facts about him and KFC.

    The story cites de Castella as an authority (BTW appeals to authority don’t actually prove anything) on standing up to a multinational. I simply asked how this squared with de Castella’s promotion of the vitamin products of a multinational.

    You and I clearly share the same view on claims about the benefits of multivitamins. The difference is that I am as concerned with diversion of health expenditures into placebos as I am with the “obesity epidemic”.

    Oh, and I don’t eat KFC!

  • 36
    rhwombat
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Stiofan: Maybe you don’t eat KFC, but you are curiously sensitive about multinationals. Perhaps you work for Coke - in which case you really shouldn’t be sniping at either MacGill or de Castella. And as far as health expenditure on placebos diverting health expenditure from the fat apocalypse - pull the other one, it’s got the 195kg man I admitted on Saturday attached to it.

  • 37
    Stiofan
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    @RHWOMBAT

    You are clearly having problems with basic reasoning skills.

    Talk about shoot the messenger! You’ve apparently decided (without any evidence) that I work for Coke. I won’t grace that delusion with a reply.

    I’m not sensitive about multinationals, but I am sensitive about standards of journalism. This report included the fact that KFC is part of a multinational, but didn’t indicate how that was relevant to the story. As I pointed out, the only reasonable explanation is that it’s a piece of dog-whistling for Crikey’s target audience.

    I then made the point that, if KFC’s multinational status was relevant, then de Castella’s relationship with a multinational would also be relevant.

    Finally, you clearly have no idea of the amount of health dollars expended on placebos, “alternative medicine” and “complementary therapies”. It is part of a continuum with the obesity issue in which ignorance is a common factor.

  • 38
    Dave Slutzkin
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    @STIOFAN

    The story cites De Castella as an authority on standing up to a multinational.”

    Nah. He says:

    I had a couple of offers to do ads for fast food companies when I was an athlete and I always turned them down because I had a moral objection.”

    It cites him as one experienced in standing up to fast food companies. He doesn’t mention multi-nationals. I agree that Barry’s reference was a bit superfluous, but I also think you might have derailed the discussion a little in moving it on towards multi-national drug companies.

  • 39
    Sean
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure what all the straw man argumentation about multinationals is about. The existence of multinationals is an inevitability of life these days. I thought the question and argument was about using sportsmen to advertise junk food that’s bad for kids.

  • 40
    rhwombat
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Stiofan: Keep backing up. Your first contribution to this thread on an aspect of the fat-promotion industry was to (1) claim that Crikey is pandering to an anti-multinational audience (you inserted the “nasty multinational” meme) and (2) attempt to smear both MacGill and de Castella as hypocrites. That Yum foods is the largest pusher of junk food on the planet, and is a multinational that does the same thing, in the same way, for the same reasons in markets everywhere, is entirely relevant to this piece of extra-corporate journalism. I suspect that’s why you felt you had to make the crack about dog-whistling. I was obviously wrong about Coke, though I notice that you don’t deny it. Actually, I suspect that you are a tool of the Ltd News stable, hence your sensitivity about standards of journalism (/irony).

    Finally, you clearly have no idea that we spend NO public health dollars on placebos, “alternative medicine” and “complimentary therapies” (we let people fund their own delusions, not the PBS). Useless treatments are not “part of the continuum” with “the obesity issue” (mustn’t say “fat” must we). We do spend more than $25 Billion (with a B) of our tax dollars each year on obesity-related disease, and it continues to rise. . It’s not ignorance which is the common factor, it’s an active scheme of subverting the message we at the bleeding edge of the health care system have been pushing for decades (fat kills), delivered by interdependent industries (including the commercial media) and their lobbyists intent on the fat bucks. That you attempt to obfuscate with false equivalence suggests to me that you are a corporate shill.

  • 41
    Noodle Bar
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating to read the discussion and how it gets derailed. The point about multinationals (as I see it) is that they are powerful cunning unscrupulous and have no bona fide tie to the Australian community however much they pretend. Their tie is mala fide, as articulated very well by Barry and McGill. These corporations co-opt our culture to take our money and get us addicted to their toxic product from a young age. For more information about this, check out choice.com.au.

    The concern about the way they have hijacked Australian sport is mainly the way they have manipulated the sports lobby into actively ensuring fast-food corporate sponsorship continues. They have also effectively captured many of those involved in community sport in the same way.

    Logically, fast food of the macdonalds/kfc sort should be treated like tobacco and alcohol as it is at least as unhealthy. Logically it should only be permitted to be sold to those over 18 (although parents may buy it for their children), taxed heavily, and their advertising should be as heavily regulated.

    I’ve thought all my life that junk food should be banned from school canines. The fact that it is not is insane.

  • 42
    Stiofan
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    @RHWOMBAT

    You clearly have difficulty with reading as well as with reasoning!

    I didn’t say anything about public health dollars. But, since you’ve raised the topic, the public purse does support “alternative medicine” and “complimentary therapies”: health funds which pay for those treatments are supported by the private health fund tax rebate.

    I’ve given up waiting for a response to my question about MacGill and KFC. However, given your rapidly degenerating state of mind (a “tool of the Ltd News stable”, a “corporate shill”!), I’ll take my leave now, and hope that you feel better in the morning :-)

  • 43
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Does this mean I can no longer refer to Stuart as the Big Mac?

  • 44
    rhwombat
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Noodle Bar: well put…though it would be nice to ban junk food from the school canteen, as well as the dog. ;-)

    Stiofan: weasel.

  • 45
    jordant
    Posted Wednesday, 9 March 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Stuart. Totally agree with you. It is highly inappropriate for national sporting teams and events to be used by junk food companies to target children.

    I’d suggest that the brand values of of the Australian cricket team are totally inconsistent with those of KFC.

    The marketing exec’s at Cricket Australia need their heads read.

    Obviously the money offered was too significant to overlook. But so is illegal sports betting.

    Cricket’s integrity is under threat from many different directions.

    In my opinion, KFC’s sponsorship of the Australian Cricket - ‘isn’t cricket’.

  • 46
    ash
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Easy for Macgilla to take the high ground! No one’s waving wads of cash in front of him, and when they did tell him to be in an ad (probably for not much money) he said no b/c he was having a hissy fit!

  • 47
    Johnfromplanetearth
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    ZUT ALORS: So you want families to stay at home all day and all night? Not go out at all? Not eat out? Stay at home and make sandwiches all freaking week! This is the Left all over, you want us to turnout the lights, freeze in winter, fry in summer and live on bread and water sitting in the dark holding hands singing kum by ya my lord! I’m not a big junk food man, i like a hamburger now and again, but i do know that many people find it difficult to live and budget for food every week. MacDill has always had his head up his own arse!

  • 48
    jordant
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    @ Johnfromplanetearth typical stupid comment from a pauline-hanson esq. dumb Aussie. Too many people like you have vote. I take it Johnfromplanetearth you have no qualms about billions of your tax dollars paying for childhood obesity health related problems and diabetes? Dollars that could have been spent on educating people - like you. Junk Food advertising has been banned during children’s programs. KFC has found a way round that ban by advertising during cricket matches which children and families watch. Cricket Australia is currently aided-and-abetting in the promotion of junk food to children, adversely affects the health of the nation. Perhaps we should create a ‘Junk Food Tax’ and FKC et el can pay for the health bill related to childhood obesity. It might be said that KFC’s sponsorship of Cricket Australia and cricket - which is indirectly harming the nation - is “Un-Australian”.

  • 49
    zut alors
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    @ Johnfromplanetearth: ‘…put yourself in their shoes if they have any…’

    Did you know that sandwiches are transportable? That is to say, they can be made at home and taken to another location to be consumed. If people are so poor that, as you allege above, they cannot afford shoes, then home made lunches would be a way in which they can enjoy an outing without the imposition of a $50 food bill.

    Clearly, this topic has reached its limit.

  • 50
    Elan
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    …………had his head up his own arse!

    Is that where he met you?

    Gawd! you DO get worked up ‘DEARTH!

    NOODLE BAR nailed it. Fudging the issue does not neutralise it.

    I remember raising this at a nutritional seminar at the local Uni 15 years or so ago. It is worse now. Far worse. But it is happening because our delectable legislators allow it to happen.

    Sponsorship by the smoking lobby was stopped, why not this?

    And as for the appalling Mr MG and the dreaded Al K Hall:

    …….. his endorsement of Wolfblass wines that it encourages people to drink to unhealthy levels.”

    It did? He did? The shame of the man! What a boozy twot! That reminds me of that Priest in Father Ted: Drink! DRINK!!

    If these companies had even a modicum of integrity they would inject funds into sport, having that acknowledged at sport functions or whatever., NOT having their logo and message plastered everywhere.

    As for the rationale that MacGill refused to do a KFC ad : “….he hit the roof when asked to do a KFC ad at a time when he was apparently facing the threat of being dropped from the team”

    I reckon that would have been a damn good incentive to DO the bloody ad!

    Simple logic dictates that it isn’t good for a career nowadays to ‘buck the system’. I would have thought that would take some small measure of integrity…? But still some will find a way to criticise! As usual.

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