Despite endorsement from stars including Audley Harrison and Paula Radcliffe, the firm’s Get Active campaign – which sees children earn sports equipment through collecting vouchers from chocolate products – came up against a barrage of criticism from dietary experts and the media.
But the company’s head of comms Carmel Hogan said: ‘We recognised there would be a debate. We will continue to get the message out – this is about kids getting active.’
She added the firm was ‘in this for the long term’ with events planned over the next year including a sports day featuring Radcliffe next month.
British Dietary Association PRO Dr Wendy Doyle said: ‘We believe that it is sending out the wrong message linking chocolate with health… misguided is a word I would use.’
She said the £9m invested in the campaign could have been better spent on buying the sports equipment directly.