The verdict came from the Second Chamber of the Superior Justice Court and relates to the ‘Sadia Mascots’ campaign of 2007.
In another historic decision, the Second Chamber of the Superior Justice Court ratified on Tuesday (25th) that publicity directed at children is abusive, and therefore illegal, and maintained a fine of over R$305,000 against Sadia by the São Paulo Consumer Bureau in 2009. The deliberation took place during the trial of the ‘Mascotes Sadia’ (Sadia Mascots) campaign, launched during the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro. In the campaign, children collected stamps found in the brand’s products and, with an additional R$3.00, could purchase stuffed animals. The verdict today corroborates the previously unprecedented decision from March 10, 2016 that, for the same reasons, convicted the company Pandurata, owner to the rights to the Bauducco brand, for their ‘É hora de Shrek’ (It’s Shrek time) campaign.
By unanimous vote, the bench recognized the abusive nature of directing marketing communication towards children, considering the joint sale of products and gifts illegal. The reporting judge, justice Herman Benjamin, highlighted in his vote that the products participating in the campaign – margarine, ham, lunch meat, pizza, lasagna, chicken breast with white sauce, among others – should not be marketed directly to children, since “they are not very healthy and are not recommended for a young demographic.” In his opinion, justice Francisco Falcão emphasized that “this type of advertising directed towards children should be considered a crime.”
On July 10th, 2007, Children and Consumerism filed a complaint to the São Paulo Consumer Bureau, leading to a fine of R$305,493.33 at the time, which was later suspended by the São Paulo state Justice Tribunal, following the argument that the campaign was within the limits of free trade. In today’s trial, the Citizenship Tribunal understood that the publicity was directed at children and used imperative language to mass consume “caloric and unhealthy” foods. The lawyer Daniela Teixeira, who represented Alana as amicus curiae, and the lawyer Cristina Tubino, from her team, presented the oral arguments at the trial.
The decision once again irrefutably emphasizes Children and Consumerism’s work, “Yet again, the justices recognized the rights of children as the absolute priority, even in consumer relationships. Brazil has in its Magna Carta an instrument that guarantees absolute priority to the needs of children, in all its forms, and this decision is another victory for all of us,” celebrated Ekaterine Karageorgiadis, Children and Consumerism’s coordinator.