Monday 4 March 2019

Reality Bites In Snobland

Oh frabjous day!

Long time readers may remember when the sugar tax was installed by a timorous, erm, 'Conservative' government quaking in their boots under pressure from a gullible TV chef. I called it "a triumph for repulsive anti-social snobbery".
The sugar tax is born out of the same vile and scum-infested middle class base as the smoking ban. The only difference being that back then it was smokers, now it is the overweight. The precedent was set a decade ago, a precedent which gave a green light for the most hideous in society to point fingers, criticise the choices of others, publicly vomit insults, and demand government force be brought to bear on people who they feel offended at seeing.
Since then we have seen the laughable spectacle of Jamie Oliver's menu offerings being found to be more unhealthy than Burger King and Pizza Hut and Public Health England have come out with draconian measures of what is deemed to be unhealthy.

This has come as a bit of a shock to some of the food snobs amongst us. Farmdrop is a company which has advertised "fresher, fairer" food on the London tube for a few months now. I've seen their adverts and I personally wouldn't buy from them because I just know it will be expensive but I have no problem with their business angle at all, I wish them the very best of luck. I'm sure most of their customers wouldn't think the same about ads for Burger King or KFC, but then that's the difference, isn't it?

Well Farmdrop just got a dose of reality. L. O. L.
To combat childhood obesity, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has enforced a ban on junk food advertising across London’s public transport network, which we fully support. But is it really a ban on junk food as we know it?
For a company which is in the food business, to not see this coming is a fatal error. And, sorry guys, if you fully support this you just lost any sympathy from me.
Preventing brands from aggressively advertising junk food to children on the transport network is a step in the right direction and we fully support it. The link between heavily processed junk foods and obesity is well established (it's not - DP) and recent studies suggest that diet-related diseases like diabetes are rising among children, which is hugely concerning. The majority of Londoners support the decision as well, including respected figures in the food industry like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
I could go into the concept of polls which ask airy questions without going into detail but I don't think these guys would get it, but they should because what if the poll said "would you be in favour of banning advertising of 'junk food' which includes farm-produced butter, eggs and bacon?" because that's the PHE definition. I reckon they would get a different result and wouldn't be so supportive of the results.
Naturally, we were pretty shocked that a picture of some fresh groceries with a healthy mixture of fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs and cupboard staples would flout TfL’s new junk food rules. But it turns out that TfL score foods individually according to a nutrient profiling model created by the Government. It’s a pretty crude measure and means that foods you would still think of as junk, like fizzy drinks with artificial sweeteners or low-fat fried foods, could in some scenarios comply with the new regulations.
At this point I imagine the Farmdrop guys be like ...

Well yes because ...
We fully support the Mayor of London’s decision to prohibit junk food advertising on the transport network but we’re concerned about how it’s being applied. We hope that TfL sees some sense and starts to apply the ban with a little better judgement. 
Hey, it's not TfL's judgement of what is HFSS food, it is towards PHE that you should be directing your complaint. Reason being that if snobs call for bans on products they find icky because chavs like them (come on, own up, that's what it is about really) then the constituents of those foods need to be analysed and a policy formulated based on the ingredients. Just a feel-good about who makes it won't wash once you get the big state involved.

It is quite hilarious to see a company piggy-backing on hipster snobbery being hoist by a petard entirely fashioned by its snooty customers. The replies on Twitter to Farmdrop's astonished tweet were testament to it.

Here's the rub though. The companies that Farmdrop fully support having their ads banned - they touch upon McDonald's in their article - will, at some point, get round the rules by reformulating their products. Farmdrop, however - if it is true to its unique business selling point - will not be able to reformulate natural butter, eggs and farm-produced bacon. Their ads will still be banned unless PHE changes the rules.

And the only way that they can do that is by admitting that it's all snobbery after all and that the restrictions will only apply to large fast food chains and not to Jamie Oliver's sugar-laden hypocrisy or Farmdrop's perfectly natural, but sadly high in fat sugar and salt, produce.

Then we will see some pretty momentous court cases.

There is one thing that might help Farmdrop though. They could stop pandering to snobbery and join us in attacking ridiculously arbitrary rules and object to any restrictions on what we are allowed to see on advertising billboards. Now they have worked out that it really isn't about health, would they be prepared to join we who are on the side of the angels? I doubt it.

Once they and the people they sell to learn to be accommodating of the choices of others maybe we might get somewhere as a society. Until then, chalk one up for those of us who have been warning them for a long time about this and revel in the discomfort. 


Gray Cooper said...

Politics not sell themselves as their product is total rubbish.

Gray Cooper said...

Politics cannot sell themselves as their product is total rubbish.

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