The consumer organization Foodwatch started the election online to find the most annoying out of five marketing tricks. Products are up for voting that Foodwatch Austria has already voted “Advertising smack of the month” in the past few months. The winner will be “awarded” by the organization in mid-December.
The brands and products in the running are Merci, Ovomaltine, Dreh und Trink, Mazola Maize Germ Oil and Beauty Sweeties Fruchtgummi Bunny. At Merci, the gigantic price increase with the bulk pack was criticized. Calculated per kilo, the 400 grams cost up to 61 percent more than the normal 250 gram pack. Ovomaltine has also secretly reduced the filling quantity by ten percent in recent months, criticized consumer protection groups. By reducing the filling quantity and an additional surcharge, consumers are asked to pay twice.
There is far too much sugar in the Twist and Drink soft drink, which is perfect for children’s hands and eyes. The colorful bottles lure children with cartoon animals. According to the WHO, such a sugary drink should not be advertised for children. Mazola corn oil misleads consumers by claiming to be a red-white-red product, according to Foodwatch. In truth, the corn it contains comes from all sorts of EU countries, Austria is just one of many. The Beauty Sweeties fruit gum bunnies advertise with a green stylized leaf on which “pure nature” can be read. With such an advertisement, buyers of the product expect a food without additives. In fact, the fruit gum bunnies contain a lot of additives.
According to Foodwatch, the supermarket shelves are full of foods that often do not live up to their promises. Hidden price increases, fraudulent labels and misleading advertising promises make it difficult for consumers to shop. Both EU food law and Austrian food law state that you must not be misled by advertising or the packaging of products. The reality is different, the organization said.