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Willie Munchright comes to New Zealand screens

24 September, 2004

Willie Munchright comes to New Zealand screens

A small purple clay figure called Willie Munchright, along with his equally colourful friends, will debut on TV2 this Sunday – the start of a television series aimed at educating and entertaining young New Zealanders with nutrition and physical activity messages.

The series is an initiative developed under the auspices of the Health of our Nation / New Zealand Food Industry Accord. The recently-launched Accord was signed on behalf of more than 100 food retailers, manufacturers, advertisers, advertising agencies and media organisations in support of the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Eating / Healthy Action strategy, announced earlier this year.

Willie Munchright is a non-branded, television series provided at no cost by the industry with the aim of helping children better understand food, nutrition and physical activity. The series covers a number of topics including: everyday and sometimes foods, trying new foods, balanced diet, grains, vegetables, fruit, milk, proteins, sugar, fat, breakfast, snacking and being active.

The Willie Munchright initiative is a co-operative venture between Television New Zealand (TVNZ), McDonald’s Restaurants (New Zealand) Ltd and DDB Advertising.

TVNZ has provided free airtime for the year-long programme on TV2. Willie Munchright has been gifted by McDonald’s NZ from a series originally developed in the United States. DDB Advertising, working with the support of Digital Post and Voice Talent, has taken the original series and replaced the American accents with New Zealand voices, while all the scripts have been amended to reflect best-practice, New Zealand nutrition and physical activity messages.

Jeremy Irwin, Executive Director, Association of New Zealand Advertisers Inc, says Willie Munchright is a significant example of how industry partners can support the Accord. The programmes have been developed in consultation with the Ministry of Health and after feedback from other organisations, including the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation.

“This series is intended to provide nutrition information specifically designed to appeal to children. The campaign is only one of a number of Food Industry, Accord initiatives that are positive proof that we are serious about making our contribution to addressing obesity,” said Mr Irwin.


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