An ad campaign by KP Snacks and The Hundred was banned for targeting junk food at children.
An email sent to an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) mailing list and a KP Instagram advert with the chance to win tickets were found to have breached the advertising watchdog’s code.
The ECB said it was “sorry” that an “error” meant the email was sent to under-16s.
The watchdog said insufficient care had been taken to ensure that Instagram advertising was not aimed at children.
Sponsorship of food brand KP Snacks of The Hundred, a tournament for children and families, was critical ahead of its inaugural season last year.
“We have told England and Wales Cricket Board Ltd and KP Snacks Ltd to take reasonable steps in the future to ensure that HFSS [foods high in fat, salt and sugar] the product advertisements were not directed at children by choice of media or the context in which they appeared,” the Advertising Standards Authority added.
The ASA received two complaints, from the Children’s Food Campaign and Food Active, and said there were violations in two items, but not in five other Instagram posts and one website.
The email banned by the ASA contained the brand logos of The Hundred and KP McCoys and carried the text “we have teamed up with McCoy’s, official team partner of the Manchester Originals, to offer you the opportunity to claim a free bat and ball to celebrate the Hundred”.
The announcement was sent to an ECB list of 29,276 ticket buyers and those who had opted in to receive ECB marketing, 326 of whom were under the age of 16.
“We are sorry that due to an internal error, an email promoting a giveaway of free cricket bats and balls has been sent to a number of under 16s as well as adults for which it was intended,” the ECB said.
“While the email contained the logo of one of our partners’ brands, applicants were not required or encouraged to purchase any products in order to apply for the bat and ball and the purpose of the contest was to ‘encourage more people to be active. We’re putting in place additional systems to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’
The post on the Instagram account of Butterkist UK, another KP Snacks brand, advertised popcorn with the caption “WIN tickets to attend a cricket match with Birmingham Phoenix in Birmingham this summer”.
The ASA said the ECB and KP Snacks had not taken enough steps to ensure they were not directed at children, as they had with other advertisements.
“At KP Snacks, we recognize that as a responsible food manufacturer, we have an important role to play in helping people make informed choices and enjoy our products responsibly,” KP Snacks said.
“Our partnership with The Hundred allows us to introduce the game to new audiences and the Everybody campaign is all about getting more people to get active.
“We welcome the ASA’s decision and will work closely with the ECB to take the recommendations into account.”