First they campaigned against Hard Solo. Now the Teals want to change how Aussies watch


The days of ordering a KFC feast after being influenced by advertising during the cricket could soon be a thing of the past, if the Teal independents have their way. 

Two high-profile Teal MPs are pushing for junk food advertising to be banned from Australian TV screens during most major sporting events – such as the current summer of cricket. 

Dr Sophie Scamps, a GP and MP for the seat of Mackeller on Sydney‘s northern beaches, introduced legislation to Parliament in June pushing for a blanket ban on unhealthy food ads on TV and radio between 6am and 9.30pm every single day.

Dr Scamps argues there is a ‘direct link between (junk food) ads and childhood obesity’ and the ads should therefore be removed from TV screens.

That would radically change TV sport coverage, with the cricket this week inundated with KFC and Coca-Cola advertising.

And it’s not the first time the Teals – elected largely on a platform of climate change action in wealthy urban seats in Sydney and Melbourne – have pushed restrictive health policy.

Under new policies advocated by Mackellar MP doctor Sophie Scamps, this would be no more

Under new policies advocated by Mackellar MP doctor Sophie Scamps, this would be no more

0Teals recently came together for a similar common cause - championing against Hard Solo amid concerns it made itself appealing to teenagers and children through the name association with the regular soft drink, Solo

0Teals recently came together for a similar common cause – championing against Hard Solo amid concerns it made itself appealing to teenagers and children through the name association with the regular soft drink, Solo

The group of independents, led by North Sydney MP Kylea Tink, earlier this year came together for a common cause – campaigning against Hard Solo.

The MPs were concerned the alcoholic twist on the popular soft drink – a favourite of Schoolies – made itself appealing to teenagers and children.

Following the campaign and complaints to the advertising watchdog, Hard Solo will be rebranded to Hard Rated.

Producer Carlton United Breweries given until February 9 to roll out new merchandise before the product in its current form is pulled from shelves. 

Dr Scamps and her fellow Teal MPs will have to secure the support of the government for her junk food bill to pass the lower house.

She has expressed optimism Anthony Albanese’s government could back her bill and has wno the backing of fellow Teal Independent, Monique Ryan.

Dr Ryan – like Dr Scamps – is a medical doctor, having worked as a neurologist before defeating one of the Coalition’s most promising rising stars, Josh Frydenberg.

The cricket this week has been inundated with advertising for KFC , with a steady stream of Coca Cola commercials as well

The cricket this week has been inundated with advertising for KFC , with a steady stream of Coca Cola commercials as well

Streaming services such as Kayo and subscription-based models would be subject to the same rules.

Meanwhile, the bill also recommends junk food advertisements be banned from social media and online altogether to avoid exposure. 

This includes, but is not limited to, crumbed and fried meat, burgers, hash browns, pizzas, desserts and soft drinks. 

The former GP argued at the time of introducing her bill that childhood obesity costs the healthcare system up to $11.8billion each year.

She said the latest data suggests a quarter of children and two-thirds of adults in Australia are either overweight or obese.

‘We know our children are exposed to over 800 junk food ads on TV alone every year, and that there is a direct link between those ads and childhood obesity,’ Dr Scamps said. 

If the Teal Independents have their way, junk food advertising will be banned from our TV screens during most major sporting events in the not-too-distant future in a bid to reduce unhealthy eating habits

If the Teal Independents have their way, junk food advertising will be banned from our TV screens during most major sporting events in the not-too-distant future in a bid to reduce unhealthy eating habits

The Teals had sweeping success across wealthy electorates in Sydney and Melbourne in the 2022 election, advocating stronger action on climate change, combatting corruption and gender equality.

Despite each being Independent, the Teals have largely voted as one, making it easy for the general public to group them together, almost as if they are their own makeshift party. 

They all supported the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and campaigned alongside Labor ahead of the referendum.

Ms Tink, a former businesswoman, was particularly impassioned about Hard Solo, leading the charge to change the name of the alcoholic beverage and accusing the brand of ‘failing to pass the pub test’ by appealing to children.

‘As it currently exists, the way it is packaged, the way it tastes, the way it is named, it just doesn’t pass the pub test,’ she said at the time.

‘I’d like to see it taken off the shelves and I’d like to see a conversation ongoing around what sort of products are introduced to the market.’ 

Dr Scamps, Zali Steggall, Dr Monique Ryan, Allegra Spender, Andrew Wilkie, Kate Chaney and Zoe Daniel all signed their names to a campaign to change the name.

Eventually, it was determined the company behind Hard Solo had breached industry advertising codes and the drink will now be rebranded as Hard Rated.

Products with the current branding must be off shelves by February 9.  ‘A brand is far more than just its name,’ Ms Tink said.

‘So if it’s the same font, for example, I would expect that that would be inappropriate. 

‘Carlton United Brewery can absolutely relaunch this product, that’s exactly what they should do.’

It’s yet to be seen if they will have similar success fighting junk food ads.



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More