Lobby groups have hit out at a new ad campaign for mint brand Mentos, which targets schoolchildren, slamming it as a “sneaky way of advertising through the back door”.
The campaign, launching next month, is designed to inspire school pupils to enjoy science lessons by asking them to recreate the Mentos and Diet Coke phenomenon which has swept across the US and Europe.
The experiment, which can be viewed widely on YouTube, involves putting several Mentos mints in a bottle of Diet Coke to create up to 9m-high fountains of fizz.
The Mentos campaign will target 100,000 children aged 12 to 13. Teachers will be able to download online resources, including lesson plans, experiments and details of competitions which will offer children thousands of pounds worth of science equipment for their schools.
The campaign, created by specialist agency the National Schools Partnership, has been attacked from a number of quarters.
A spokesman for campaigning group Sustain says: “Given that both Mentos and Diet Coke are banned from sale in schools, this seems a sneaky way of advertising them by the back door.”
However, a spokesperson for the National Schools Partnership says the campaign has the support of teachers and has been tested on focus groups.