The tale of Tony Taler

The IPKat's linguistically-talented friend Kathrin Vowinckel has told him of an as-yet unpublished decision of the Bundesgerichtshof (German Supreme Court) which appears to have limited the scope of advertising activity in German schools. she tells him

"The decision (I ZR 82/05 of 12 July 2007) relates to a case where Kellogg's had used the slogan "Kellogg's fuer den Schulsport" (Kellogg's for school sports) to advertise the collection of so-called "Tony Taler" on packets of breakfast cereal. A certain number of the "Tony Taler" could then be exchanged for school sports equipment.

Following a complaint by the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (a German consumer organisation) the BGH held that the collection of the "Tony Taler" could lead to peer pressure at school and that the company was basically using the children as their "extended arms" vis-a-vis their parents, because the children would be competing in class. Parents could thus be put under pressure to finance a passion for collecting the "Tony Taler". For example 50 "Tony Taler" points, which could be exchanged for a badminton set, appear to have equalled breakfast cereal to the value of €140, while 300 "Tony Taler" points could be exchanged for beach volleyball equipment".

Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband press release here (which mentions further proceedings against Bahlsen, relating to the sale of Bahlsen products and the financing of school trips).

The IPKat says, this case accentuates a big cultural difference between the Germans and the British. The Germans say, here's a a cynical abuse of childish desire for the sake of marketing a big commercial brand. The Brits say, "come on, let's buy some more cereal before the offer expires!". Merpel says, it is a cynical exploitation, yes - but is it wrong to do it in a free market in which all Kellogg's competitors are able to do exactly the same thing?

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The tale of Tony Taler The tale of Tony Taler Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Duncan said...

It's not only Britain that has that view and I wonder whether Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband is accurately representing the German populace here...

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