Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Fast-food Flood Shows Covid-Washing In Action

The ethics of ‘Covid-washing’ advertising tactics which began in 2020 are being called into question by new research and Health Coalition Aotearoa Board Chair Professor Boyd Swinburn.

A study by the University of Auckland's School of Population Health, in partnership with Healthy Auckland Together, revealed 27 per cent of social media posts from fast-food outlets referenced the pandemic in their marketing messages.

Posts referencing the pandemic spiked just as Level 4 restrictions were about to lift in April 2020, and the same playbook has been used again during this lockdown.

"Covid-washing is a marketing tactic where brands align their products with the pandemic response in a bid to enhance their image," one of the study’s author from The University of Auckland Dr Sarah Gerritsen said.

"It preys on loneliness, anxiety and the desire the help our communities during the lockdown.

"The encouragement of overconsumption of unhealthy products for comfort and support is part of this strategy. So too are sharing photos of front-line workers receiving branded products. This is happening globally as brands capitalise on the pandemic for profit, at the expense of our health."

Gerritsen's study showed brands engaged in Covid-washing included Domino's Pizza, McDonalds, and V energy drinks, which used memes of the Prime Minister’s 1pm briefings to sell sugary beverages. McDonalds even used Father’s Day ‘vouchers’ akin to an IOU - a tactic which involves children via their families.

Professor Swinburn says he is concerned about children’s exposure in particular to this kind of marketing.

"Junk food companies have done a stellar job of associating Alert Level 3 with consuming their products. Adults have the choice today to buy takeaways food from big global brands or support local retailers.

"It’s not acceptable that there is no regulation of kids being hammered by hyped-up harmful marketing, on tv, radio and online when they are stuck at home in lockdown.

"It’s time the Government took a long hard look at the data and decided whether they still want their Covid public health controls to be equated with K-fry."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Digitl: Download 2.0 – Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling hits early milestone
Vodafone says it has 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi Calling service. It took less than three months to reach that milestone; the service began operating in September... More>>

Energy Resources Aotearoa: New Law On Decommissioning Could Be Costly Overkill
A new law on decommissioning oil and gas fields passed by Parliament today has good intentions but is overkill, according to Energy Resources Aotearoa. "We strongly support operators taking responsibility and paying the costs for decommissioning, which is what all good operators do," says chief executive John Carnegie... More>>


Commerce Commission: News Publishers’ Association Seeks Authorisation To Engage In Collective Bargaining

News Publishers’ Association of New Zealand Incorporated seeks authorisation and provisional authorisation to engage in collective bargaining with Facebook and Google. The Commerce Commission has received applications from News Publishers’ Association of New Zealand Incorporated (NPA) seeking authorisation and provisional authorisation on behalf of itself... More>>


ABC Business Sales: Demand High For Covid-proof Businesses
Despite the continuing challenges facing businesses in this Covid environment, right now there are more buyers looking for a small-medium sized business than there are sellers in the market... More>>


PriceSpy: Producer Prices Increase
New Black Friday and Covid-19 Report* released by PriceSpy says people’s fear of stepping inside physical shops during big sales events like Black Friday has risen since last year; Kiwis are still planning to shop, but more than ever will do it online this year... More>>

NZ Skeptics Society: Announce Their 2021 Awards, And Dr Simon Thornley Wins The Bent Spoon

Every year the New Zealand Skeptics presents its awards to people and organisations who have impressed us or dismayed us, and this year it’s been hard to pick our winners because there have been so many choices!.. More>>



REINZ: Sales Volumes Leveling Out

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 44 fewer lifestyle property sales (-2.6%) for the three months ended October 2021 than for the three months ended September 2021... More>>