4 October 2018
The Commonwealth Bank, KitchenAid, Nutri-Grain and Marriott Vacation Club
are among the big brands whose bad behavior has earned them a lemon gong at
the 13th annual CHOICE Shonkys.
"From cots that put our kids' lives at risk, to a bank that buys its way
into our schools and the toaster that leaves your bread warm and dry,
there's little doubt that this year's winners are giving Australians a bad
deal," says CHOICE CEO, Alan Kirkland.
"Our seven 2018 winners follow a long tradition of highlighting why we need
to hold companies to account for their bad behavior and why we need
stronger laws to protect Australians. The attitudes and practices of this
year's winners show exactly why we need the federal government to take
action on greater safety standards, clearer food labelling and better
2018 Shonkys winners are:
● Portable cots - for putting kids' safety at risk
When CHOICE tested portable cots, we found that the vast majority failed
our stringent safety tests. Alarmingly, most of the products we tested pose
a risk of either suffocation or head entrapment (or both) to babies.
4baby, Babyco, Babyhood, Baby Bjorn, Baby Solutions, Childcare, Elite
Baby, Joie, Love N Care, Phil&Teds, Steelcraft, and Target and Vee
are among the manufacturers whose portacots CHOICE wants to see recalled.
● Commonwealth Bank - for spruiking banking products
in our schools
The Commonwealth Bank's Dollarmite school marketing
program mixes unchecked corporate greed with primary schools. Employing
subversive sales tactics under the guise of youth education is a
particularly disgraceful act, worthy of collecting the bank a Shonky. Who
can weasel its way into our schools? CommBank can.
● Kellogg's Nutri-Grain - for putting the squeeze on
better health with its Nutri-Grain 'To Go' range
The original 'Ironman Food' creator claims its new 'To Go' range is
"perfect for young Aussies on the go". When we discovered the Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer
contains a whopping 14.7g of sugar per packet in contrast to the 5.6g of
protein it so heavily promotes, Nutri-Grain's association
with elite athletes became a little hard to swallow.
● KitchenAid - for failing miserably at its one job
- making toast
The KitchenAid 2-Slice KMT2116 toaster will set you back
$189, but it won't make toast. CHOICE tests showed all it served up was
dry, slightly warm bread. There are better ways to make a statement in your kitchen than buying this pricey paperweight. For
sending money up in smoke, KitchenAid takes home a Shonky.
● Bioglan - for dreaming up a fantasy cure for
For the second year in a row Bioglan have taken out a
Shonky for some questionable claims on their products. Despite spruiking
its ability to "relieve mild temporary insomnia and symptoms of mild
nervous tension" Bioglan melatonin homeopathic sleep formula contains only
trace amounts of the drug and is little more than a placebo.
● Marriott Timeshare - for passing off a lifetime of
debt as a cheap way to take a holiday
Marriott Vacation Club International's
timeshare deal requires you to buy into a 40-year contract that could,
based on CHOICE calculations, see you spend nearly half a million dollars
over the course of the contract - around ten times the amount it would cost
to simply book a holiday when you needed to. For ripping people off who
just want to take a break, Marriott Vacation Club joins
this year's winners' circle.
● Magnetic therapy devices - for using weak health
claims to pull on hip pockets
Magnetic therapy devices from brands such as Dick Wicks
and BioMagnetic Sport promise to relieve pain, but with no
evidence to back up these claims, the only thing they'll relieve you of is
money. The brands behind these devices dish out dodgy medical advice and
charge a small fortune for their products.
More information on the 2018 Shonkys award winners is available at
Media contact: Jonathan Brown 0430 172 669